"...the Kingdom of God is like a man sowing seeds in the ground. Whether he is asleep or awake... the nights and days go by, and without him knowing how, the seed sprouts and grows". Mk. 4,27
Since 1995, we have been located in a cross-border area, in the district of Oriente Quiteño - Parish of Santa María de la Argelia. The closure of the nursery and school in 2013 has left a great hollow in the families, therefore as a response to the call to "live the fruitful experience of being Assumption Together", we started a journey to re-signify our presence in Quito. Following this journey, in July 2021, the Assumption Vacation project was launched, which helped to sensitize parents of children aged 5 to 12 to a new project, the Assumption Life School Support Center, which began its mission in October of the same year.
On a worldwide level, the pandemic has highlighted the exclusion of the most vulnerable sectors of society, on the socio-economic, educational, family, affective and religious levels, in such a way that the prophetic voice of St. ME, affirming that "the love of the Church is our seal of identity", frames our response to the invitation of Father Francis to participate in a New Educational Pact, aiming at "the construction of a civilisation of harmony and unity".
An Educational pact", a Transformative Education which favours the conscious participation of each one of the agents, that "every action is important, not only for what we do, but also for whom we are doing it for" - Jesus Christ. These first seven months have been a confirmation of the action of the Spirit using these "small and fragile means to make the Kingdom present"; this little project is developing solidarity in friends, neighbours, who share from their poverty, with the costs of the material for biosecurity, school material, refreshments, etc. and according to their means, the parents contribute by a small monthly fee, other children are supported by the Assumption friends. One day a week, we are accompanied in solidarity by three students who have completed their teaching course at the ESPE University.
This has been a time of constant thankfulness - from parents who, due to professional circumstances or lack of means for the school support of their children, have experienced powerlessness and frustration. This inability turned into joy... "My son came with lots of fear, but when I hold him in my arms I can see the joy on his face", "I only knew how to pray to the Guardian Angel, the singing of my son in my ear makes me learn the Our Father, but above all, I had left this responsibility to the grandmother and I feel I have to get involved", "the teacher only draws my attention on my daughter's behaviour, but you don't complain and she is happy".
How can we not thank God for this healing space of wounds inflicted or self-inflicted! As the children's say: "when you asked me something, I replied that what I was saying or doing was not right ", "help me, I am going to be operated, what should I do not to be afraid". The gesture of putting hands on the teacher's and repeating together an invocation of protection to God... speaks of trust, of love; "I don't understand, it makes me angry! Why does the teacher (virtual class) say: don't leave your husbands... we are girls, we don't have husbands! The welcoming, the listening, the kind words, the caring, the family atmosphere help this healing process.
Being a fraternal community, favouring human and merciful relationships, is manifested through spontaneity to express: "I am happy, the little sisters, the teachers are kind, here we are learning, I would like to come here in the afternoon too, my son is learning and changing his behaviour, he has finished primary school, he did not want to carry on studying... he is happy, he has started to read and write!
As Life, which develops in the smallest details with the certainty that "God does not look at what is done, but at the love with which it is done", this project is taking shape like a Church that is coming out... we feel that it is Mary who is encouraging us... "Do what he tells you", Saint Marie Eugénie guides us and Hope fills us.
COMUNIDAD DE QUITO
Emilia Arguello Santos. Sarita Panchana Vera.
Carmen Rosa Peñaranda..