Written by Phyllis Richards
Argentina has experienced extreme economic hardship and political turmoil through the last few years. Global Ministries missionary, Jodi Bobbitt, explains, "Five years ago when we arrived to Argentina the number of people living in poverty was around twenty percent and now it has reached fifty-seven percent. Thousands of people roam the city looking through the garbage collecting cardboard for recycling which is the only income they have. The parks are filled with people who have lost their homes. The streets are filled with children pleading for food. The question is continually being asked, 'why has God abandoned us?'"
The Disciples of Christ Church in Argentina, a longstanding partner of Global Ministries of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, accompanies the people of an historical working class neighborhood, La Tablada, demonstrating that God is very near and there is indeed hope in sight. La Tablada Community Center is located on the outskirts of Buenos Aires and has been a mission of the Disciples of Christ Church in Argentina for many years.
In Argentina, children begin school for the first time at 6 years old at the first grade level. La Tablada Community Center provides preschool for children until age five, and after school programs for children ages six to thirteen. The children that are referred to the Center usually have relational difficulties, academic problems, and they all share one common issue-not having enough to eat at home. At the Center these children receive a hot meal, tutoring, and a shower. Care is taken by staff at the Center to follow up on personal situations and by providing special programming to enhance decision-making, communication, and listening skills.
One Great Hour of Sharing has budgeted $15,000 in 2004 to support the work of La Tablada Community Center.
All gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing are tax deductible and 100% of designated gifts go to the designated area of response. Non-designated funds are encouraged. They allow One Great Hour of Sharing to address future hidden and forgotten emergencies around the world.