Missionary Sr. Ljilja Lončar addresses a cry for help from Venezuela to the citizens of Croatia and all people of good heart.
Zdenac has been operating on the island of Margarita in Venezuela for 6 years. Our goal is to contribute to change for a happier childhood for children in Venezuela. We established five centres intending to gather children from the street - poor children who do not have normal family conditions, have no joy in the family, and many who have no family at all. Children whose lives are filled with great traumas - poverty, juvenile delinquency, prostitution, drugs etc. Last year, many of you got involved in helping children and the elderly. Thank you all for your generosity, I believe you have received a reward from God.
Now I turn to you again for the help. Children, the elderly, the sick and the healthy are on their knees. There is a shortage of everything. When people get to the food, the search for where to cook follows. In addition to our regular customers, we share food with others in need, and everyone is needy. It is a great pain to decide who to help, who is hungrier. Wherever I go, people beg for food.
Every day I meet this poor old woman in front of her house, walking back and forth. Grandma is hungry, thin, her bones popped out, pensive, sad-looking somewhere in her mind. I had a bag of groceries with me. I decided to give it to her. I stopped my car in front of her cottage, she called to come closer to me. I asked her: “How are you at this time of pandemic and famine?”. She replied that her name was Aura and she had grandchildren, but she sent them to their “mother”, who is not their real mother but helps in their upbringing. Their mother died. She complained to me that water had not been coming for 45 days and it is harder for her without water than without food. There is no gas because it has not been coming for months. Sometimes she cooks outside, by the road on some wood. She smiled and said, “And now I have this food you gave me. May God triple it for you. If you have any clothes, please help me." Instead of saying hello, she said," I'm waiting for you in my poor house. "
The Venezuelan government has extended the quarantine until early August. Four months without movement, work, locked in houses and limited to curfew from 4 pm to 7 am the next day. The military controls the streets, the roads, every movement of the population. The country is experiencing a complete collapse, there is no fuel.
Under the control of the army, certain gas stations receive fuel that is given in 10 litres to those who have received a certificate from the army. Confirmation is very difficult to obtain. We submitted the request twice, but we have not received any answer yet. Those who have received the confirmation, wait days and nights in the queue to get those few litres. Very often it happens that nothing is obtained because the pump tank is emptied before the scheduled expiration. That occurs because at night organized gangs break into gas stations and steal the fuel. They dig underground tunnels, drill fuel tanks, steal the fuel and then resell it. There are frequent armed conflicts between these gangs and the army that controls every drop of gasoline.
The price of stolen fuel varies from 14 to 30 HRK (2-4 $).
The political situation is tense. Military exercises and psychological preparation before an expected American attack are frequent. An arrest warrant has been issued for 14 members of the government and the president.
Five million Venezuelans emigrated, looking for a better living, to other South American countries and Spain.
Most made some money by reselling small items on the street. They would send part of that money to their families for food. COVID-19 threw them to their knees. Now, these same people are returning on foot to Venezuela, to their home. They are subjected to strict quarantine and public lynching measures.
Water, gas, and electricity are not available. Whoever has the money can get water. The tank of 10,000 litres costs 215 HRK. Gas and electricity cannot be bought. 90% of the population cooks using gas which means that even when they get the food, the pain of how to cook it starts.
Whoever has a yard or lives by the road, cooks on wood. Those who do not have such conditions of living, cook on the road. Wood is very difficult to reach. The minimum monthly salary is 14 HRL. 1 kilogram of rice is 7 HRK. Food prices are the same as in Croatia.
Every day, with the regular sharing of a very modest meal, we receive numerous calls for help, either for the caller or some neighbours who are without food, water and medicine for days.
The Croats in Venezuela, with whom we have been connected since the very beginning of our activities, live very hard and beg for help. They are in big trouble. The Government of the Republic of Croatia has helped them on a couple of occasions, but the needs are great. Their life situations are very dramatic.
Here in Croatia, the situation is difficult: COVID-19, earthquake, people losing their homes. Believe me, we still live in paradise on Earth. With our contribution, we thank God for everything He has given us, the homeland, the family, health, food, water, medicine, climate. Let us thank Him for being born in a beautiful and rich country, for giving us life in abundance, and for being able to share with others.
I encourage you to make your contribution to food, water, and medicines according to your abilities.
VENEZUELA NEEDS YOUR HELP!!!
The funds at our disposal are sufficient for 20 days.
We need individuals, families, parishes, prayer communities, kindergartens, schools, businesses, foundations, all people of goodwill, to help these children in need, as well as mothers, grandmothers, abandoned old people, the sick and anyone waiting for food, water and medicin . Their clothes and shoes are used up.
Let's help them survive this humanitarian crisis with the help of good people.
With your cash payment to Zdenac's bank account, you will enable:
✔ Financial assistance for 70 Croatian families in Venezuela,
✔ Daily meal for 550 children and 90 elderly people,
✔ Groceries for 150 families.
To make your help last longer, the best way is to create a standing order in your bank for this purpose.
In return, you receive every day intercessory prayers which children and all those who receive food pray for you, their benefactors from Croatia.
RECIPIENT: Zdenac, I.G. Kovačića 39, 10370 Dugo Selo
CALL NUMBER: 90
SWIFT (for payments from abroad): PBZGHR2X
Payment Description: Donation to Venezuela
Sr. Ljilja Lončar