Pratânia, Brazil -- A social project with the municipality
The Aclimação Cultural Center in São Paulo, with the support of the municipal council of Pratânia, has carried out once again during the vacation period the “Project Life” in the Municipal School of Basic Training “Professora Antônia Ferreira de Assumpção Antunes.” This project, which began some dozen years ago, is held in collaboration with the State to foster the common good and to increase the social conscience of university women and girls in their final years of high school. In the last few years various initiatives have been put into effect, including a course on selling products produced at home, a hall of science and art for high school students, school orientation for children, etc. The students who participate in the project make visits to families to get to know their problems and offer advice. They also provide material services and direct some of their needs to the municipal administration.
According to Alessandra Penteado, who coordinates the project and has been a volunteer for sixteen years, what moves the girls to dedicate part of their student vacations to this social service is the Christian spirit of solidarity. The girls come to realize that the gifts and talents they have received have to be put at the service of their neighbor, for both their human and spiritual well-being: “If the Lord has given you some natural quality or skill, you should not just enjoy it yourself or show off about it; you should use it charitably in the service of your neighbor. And what better occasion than now will you find to serve, since you live with so many souls who share the same ideal as yourself?” (St. Josemaría, Furrow, no. 422).
Romana, No. 48, January-June 2009, p. 148.