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Hospice Vegetable Garden in Tijuana, Mexico
Creating a Community of Hope
Missionary Oblates JPIC in partnership with the local catholic community in Tijuana, Mexico launched a hospice vegetable garden in Albergue Las Memorias A.C. Tijuana is a city of 2.2 million people and La Morita Colonia, where the project is launched, is one of the most impoverished and fastest growing neighborhoods of 300,000 people. The Albergue Las Memorias (Hostel of Memories) has been operating for the last 12 years as a residential hospice facility and the only one of its kind in Tijuana. It provides care and a safe place for approximately 130 indigent men, women and children infected with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Many of the residents have been rejected by society and abandoned by their families. Albergue Las Memorias gives patients shelter, medical attention, and if it comes to that, a place to die in dignity. It also gives them an incentive to avoid drugs and alcohol if they have an addiction.
A Shared Commitment
Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate has been working in La Morita, Tijuana, Mexico since 1996. Oblate priests work at San Eugenio de Mazenod Parish, serving La Morita’s residents and managing about 14 sites or chapels, Alberque Las Memorias being one of them. The Oblates are involved in celebrating Catholic masses, confessions, visiting people at their homes, especially the sick, etc. At Albergue las Memorias they provide support by celebrating masses, confessions, funerals and help with food at least once a week. The San Eugenio Parish’s territory covers about 7.5 square miles. The parish has ministered to thousands of the more than 300,000 men, women and children who live in the Colonia La Morita and surrounding areas, on the outer edge of the city of Tijuana.
After several visits to the residents and community at Albergue Las Memorias, Missionary Oblates JPIC identified the need for a hospice vegetable garden. We believe this local supported imitative will empower vulnerable populations, helping them lead ‘dignified lives regardless of their physical, mental or psychosocial limitations.’ Young residents make up a significant number of the facility’s population. The garden will provide fresh and reliable food, greatly needed for the many patients: the shelter often struggles with having enough food for everybody. The plan for the vegetable is to start producing enough food for residents, and eventually surplus will be sold in the community. Profits from the sale of produce will fund the upkeep of the facility.
To fund the project, Missionary Oblates JPIC initially pursued foundation grants but had no success. Believing in the facility’s vision, we reached out to groups at an Oblate parish and other interested individuals. “Families for Life” and “Projection Ministry of Santa Rosa” were among the groups that provided financial support. From Santa Clarita, C.A. families forming the movement “World Marriage Encounter” also donated to the project. While some gave financially, others volunteered their time to work on the garden. Able-bodied patients at the shelter also helped. We are very grateful for all those who made this initiative a reality. We ask that you keep the Hospice Vegetable Garden Initiative in your prayers and stay tuned for future updates on progress. We are thankful to those who have taken a stand by supporting and contributing to these vulnerable people at the hospice in Tijuana.
For more information on how to get updates about the Hospice garden visit this page: www.omiusajpic.org
If you would like to support this project please visit this website.
International AIDS 2012, July 22 – 27: Turning the Tide Together July 28th, 2012
The following issues were discussed at the International AIDS Conference this week:
Faith-Based Organizations Meet To Discuss HIV/AIDS Response at the 2012 International AIDS Conference
On the sidelines of the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), faith-based organizations and leaders came together to discuss their efforts to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. One faith gathering, titled “The Summit on the Role of the Christian Faith Community in Global Health and HIV/AIDS,” was held at Georgetown University. Other faith based pre-conferences included the International Catholic AIDS conference at American Catholic University and the InterFaith International Conference on AIDS. Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) – in which the Oblates are active – presented on one of the panels about the long-standing faith-based dialogs with pharmaceutical companies.
“A new tax on financial transactions is set to launch in France in August, and could generate billions of dollars to help fund the global fight against HIV/AIDS,…We want to create additional innovative financing instruments. This is the aim of the tax on financial transactions which my country has decided to implement,” said French President Francois Hollande, speaking in a pre-recorded video message at the plenary session of the International AIDS Conference.
Secretary Clinton Reaffirms the United State Government’s Commitment To an ‘AIDS-Free Generation,’ Pledging More Than $150M For Global Efforts
In a speech delivered at the XIX International AIDS Conference last Monday, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton underscored the United States commitment to achieving an ‘AIDS-free generation’ and announced more than $150 million in additional funding. The breakdown of the pledge is as follows:
- $80 million, to be dedicated towards preventing mother-to-child transmission abroad, with the goal of eliminating it by the year 2015;
- $40 million allotted for voluntary male circumcision in Africa to decrease risk of transmission of the virus;
- $15 million for research on interventions;
- $20 million toward bolstering country-led efforts to expand HIV-related services;
- $2 million funding for civil society groups to reach key populations affected by HIV
Oblates at the Global Village, The Heart of the International AIDS 2012 Conference
The Global Village at the International AIDS Conference has been a platform for communities, activists and practitioners representing diversity and solidarity. The Oblates were represented by JPIC Staff George Ngolwe, summer Fellow Fr. Ashok Stephen OMI (Sri Lanka), who attended several sessions at the global village, and Fr. Joseph Phiri OMI (Zambia) who took time from his busy academic schedule to volunteer at the Conference. See elsewhere on the JPIC website for the photos from the AIDS conference.
The next International AIDS Conference will be held in Melbourne in July 2014
2012 International AIDS Conference, Washington, DC July 13th, 2012
The 19th International AIDS Conference will take place in Washington, DC from July 22-27, 2012. AIDS 2012 will bring together leading scientists, pharmaceutical companies, public health professionals, policy-makers and community and youth leaders to review recent scientific developments on AIDS and lessons learnt. The AIDS 2012 conference will provide an opportunity to structure dialogue, share new scientific knowledge and plan actions to end global HIV/AIDS. About 25,000 people are expected to attend the biennial conference convened by the International AIDS Society (IAS).
There are several conferences preceding the International AIDS 2012 conference. Faith communities, which are usually in the front lines in responding to HIV/AIDS, will host several of these. The faith-based conferences include the International Catholic AIDS Conference and the Interfaith AIDS Conference by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance running from July 20-21. Other AIDS conference-connected activities include the free global village space for meetings, exhibitions and affiliated independent events, which will provide opportunity for professional briefings and networking.
This is the first time the AIDS conference has been in the United States in 22 years. The first International AIDS Conference was held in Atlanta, U.S. in 1985, and then in San Francisco in 1990. The conference was supposed to be held two years later in Boston, but the global research community refused to return to the United States because of its travel ban on HIV positive people. The Obama Administration lifted the ban in 2009.
For more information, visit: www.aids2012.org
Spring/Summer Issue of JPIC Report now available! April 26th, 2012
The Spring/Summer Issue of our bi-annual print newsletter is now available on-line. (Download the PDF…)
This issue includes articles on Global HIV/AIDS funding, a new organic farm at Oblate headquarters in Washington, the human reality at the US/Mexican border, shareholder advocacy in the financial sector, human trafficking and environmental issues: from biodiversity loss and climate change to OMI JPIC work in solidarity with Bangladeshi colleagues and new solar panels on an Oblate church in California.
Global Fund calls on drug companies to “share without delay” AIDS drug patents with UNITAID Medicines Patent Pool November 15th, 2010
In an October 7, 2010 letter, the head of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, congratulated UNITAID for the announcement of an agreement between the U.S. National Institute for Health and the Medicines Patent Pool for the voluntary license of the NIH patents rights on an HIV-AID drug, Darunavir.
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Oblate to attend 2010 International AIDS Conference July 14th, 2010
The XVIII International AIDS Conference is taking place in Vienna from July 18-23, 2010 . The Conference is a major gathering of those working in the field of HIV, government leaders, persons living with HIV and other individuals committed to ending the AIDS pandemic. It is convened by the International AIDS Society (IAS), in partnership with government, scientific and civil society partners in Austria, as well as international partners from civil society and the United Nations. It is a chance to assess the current state of affairs, evaluate recent scientific developments and lessons learnt, and collectively chart a course forward.
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