The current outbreak of Covid-19 has launched us both nationally and globally into times that are unprecedented and many call pre-apocalyptic. As millions of Americans take daily notice of hourly news reports and updates from around the United States, it is easy to stay within a domestic bubble. The spread of the virus, however, is affecting everyone in ways both unforeseen and devastating far beyond our Bedford and Massachusetts communities.
Jordan Vinh, a BHS student, who co-founded the non-profit known as The Don Bosco Project (TDBP) with friend Kyla Fraser who attends Newton South, sees the need to be consciously aware of situations outside of the United States in a particular way. Vinh’s non-profit works to bring awareness and attention to Rancho San Juan Bosco in Tecate, Mexico which houses and cares for approximately 30 orphans under the age of 18. Like other similar organizations facing a significant change of format to their usual way of carrying out their mission, the staff and students at the Juan Bosco Orphanage are facing serious challenges. Since the Mexican government has mandated shelter in place and canceled all classes for students from pre-school to university, the orphanage is doing the best it can to provide basic education for all its children. Former students, who are either pursuing a college degree or working part-time in their respective fields, have been greatly affected as to how they can continue to pursue their educational and career aspirations.
The children at the orphanage are fortunate to receive basic medical attention from the wife of the director of the orphanage, Yolanda Morelos, who is a doctor. If needed, a sick child can be seen at a nearby hospital at no expense with the exception of medicine which must be paid for by the orphanage. According to Misael Morelos, director, food costs are very high and rising. In the past, the orphanage has relied on receiving donations of food from families and churches in California. At this time no one from the United States is allowed to enter Mexico and as a result, more than half (60%) of the food supply to the orphanage has been cut off. Vinh, in collaboration with the board members of TDBP, has established both a Facebook fundraiser and an Amazon Wish List identifying specific needs. Their hope is to continue to support every child who is welcomed to the orphanage through donations.
In times of crisis, we all face a choice as to how to respond: we can be isolated with whatever our individual daily sadnesses, frustrations, and losses are or we can come together as a community in a way that suggests we must rely on each other now more than ever. There are already extraordinary examples of what communities can do when they unite to make contributions to those who are struggling the most.
For readers who may want to learn more about The Don Bosco Project or consider making a donation, please click on this link.