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L'Orsa Minore - OPAM Support - 10 cents for 5 biscuits MASOSO

Last update: Monday, 29-May-2006 06:13:27 PDT

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10 cents for 5 "MASOSO" biscuits

One warm day last July, in the headquarters of OPAM in Rome, we received a visit from sister 
Lucia Sabbadin, who for the last 13 years has been a volunteer on the medical staff of the 
General Hospital of Bukavu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The meeting with the Sister was intense and deeply touching, as we spoke of the children of 
Bukaviu.  Many of these children swarm around the Mission, constantly searching for food, 
stealing it when they can.

“There are approximately a thousand children who attend our nursery and primary schools; 
these children, mostly refugees from Rwanda, come to school on an empty stomach, and are 
too weak to concentrate.  Often they suffer from severe cramps, and sometimes they faint - 
Sister Lucia told us in heartfelt tones - We nuns, after bringing them around and giving 
them a high protein drink, are obliged to send them back to their huts to regain some strength.”

We immediately asked Sister Lucia how much a daily meal for one child would cost; 
she told us that 10 cents would buy 5 MASOSO. A masoso is a biscuit of corn (mays), 
soya and sorghum. It is a complete and nourishing foodstuff, specifically formulated 
for the malnourished, and particularly suited to children.  These biscuits could 
sustain a child for an entire day, helping them to make the most of the school day.
So why not do something immediately?
We have decided to establish a ‘’piggy bank’, a collection urn for 10 cent coins, 
to provide these schoolchildren with the 5 masoso necessary each day.
Such a ‘piggy bank’ could draw awareness to the problem, being placed in classrooms, 
in company canteens, in shopping centres, shops...anywhere.

Friends, if you would like to help us in this campaign, contact us.  We will work together to 
find the best way to bring this plan to fruition.  We will provide you with the necessary 
material, and periodically, through our newsletter, bring you up to date on the amounts 
collected and how it is being spent.

Franca Lombardi
OPAM Project Manager

English version by Jenny Fyall



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