In an interview with Vatican Radio, the Peruvian scientist shared the difficult situation in his homeland, exacerbated by the pandemic. According to current data, 98,000 have been orphaned by the coronavirus. children who require care, but their fate is uncertain.
– I think these children will be abandoned. Currently, there is a need to create social programs for them, for which the Church must also contribute. It is not just about adoption, but about eradicating the phenomenon of “street children”, which is an old and still unsolved problem. In the streets, no matter which part of the big city you pass through, there are tons of children who have dropped out of school and are begging for money. This has to be dealt with through emergency aid, education, accompaniment and other projects. Now the problem has gotten worse. In my opinion, the solution must come from both the state and the Church, which has a great role in meeting this challenge. NGOs, associations and individual citizens have contributed in this area, but the state has done very little. Currently, extreme poverty affects 30% of people. population, which is also associated with the poor situation of Venezuelan migrants who came to Lima. The state cannot handle it. Poverty is still there, as if due to social inertia inherited from the past, said Gómez Navarro.
He noted that as a result of the pandemic, social relations will be weaker and weaker. – There is a danger that fear of others will take precedence over compassion. People withdraw themselves more and more. Even before that, consumerism and individualism were very visible, and the pandemic aggravated this attitude. It happened that those who could get out of isolation literally stormed department stores. I fear our relationships will flatten even more, leaving little room for empathy and selflessness. We must make pastoral efforts on the part of the Church and pay attention to the value of social justice, said the Peruvian sociologist.
The Peruvian health service is in poor condition, mainly due to its defective system. “Although the state has money, it does not invest in it, it is unstable. There is no firm will to address these systemic deficiencies,” said Gómez Navarro.
The situation of families that cannot get out of poverty is also difficult, and it is mainly children who suffer from it. “Families that previously suffered from poverty are now ruined. People who seek help and try to sell anything to find money for food,” said the sociologist, adding that the pandemic has exacerbated inequalities in access to education. “There are many families who cannot provide their children with remote learning because they cannot afford the Internet. They can get a grant: $ 100 every three months. This is a funny help. In Peru, education is not the same for everyone. Only those who are who have money can guarantee their children a level education. We now have thousands of children who cannot go to primary school, about 70% of them come from the Andean region. The government says we will be able to resume school in March, but I believe that we do not have the conditions for this “- assessed the sociologist.
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