Youth Build

 

Youth Build offers vocational training to youth  of Columbia Heights and Mt Pleasant in Washington DC.   They ae renovating the 1502 Park Road House.  Several youth working now to put drywall, and paint …  are themselves homeless.    An example of integration in the Neighborhood !

Since november 10 students and 3 teachers come every day to work in the house.   They hope to finish soon, but there is no direct deadline … priority is for the quality-training of the students.   It might delay the opening of the house, but the students themselves are amongst the people for and with whom DAVANTAGE exists and they are gaining in so many ways.  God bless the work.

Small acts of goodness make a difference.

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“the “small goodness” from one person to his fellowman is lost and deformed as soon as it seeks organization and universality and system, as soon as it opts for doctrine, a treatise of politics and theology, a party, a state, and even a church. Yet it remains the sole refuge of the good in being. Unbeaten, it undergoes the violence of evil, which, as small goodness, it can neither vanquish nor drive out. A little kindness going only from man to man, not crossing distances to get to the places where events and forces unfold! A remarkable utopia of the good or the secret of its beyond.”  (Emmanuel Levinas)

Volunteers shared Christmas Dinner with the homeless at the Sacred Heart Dinner Program.   These are small acts of kindness, small acts of goodness … but they go to the very core of our mission as DAVANTAGE.   To share a meal, to listen, to cut hair,  to provide a bed for the night and some warm clothes, to accompany to the hospital, … these acts seem insignificant, invisible … they are a silent participation at the creation of of the world.    Any organization or system that does not renew itself constantly through small organic acts of goodness becomes useless and empty.

The operational strenght of DAVANTAGE  is to welcome those who knock at the door, to live with them, to listen to them and to act on their immediate needs.

May this also be its path in 2019 !   DAVANTAGE will keep focus on the importance of meeting the other as a source of mutual resonsibility.   Every encounter is a mutual sharing of blessings !  Every visitor for DAVANTAGE is a blessing     Blessed 2019

Blessings to Fatima House !

Brothers of Charity volunteer sharing community with homeless coming from the street.  They offer them a “transitional” solution while in search for a way forward towards self-reliance.    The brothers experience as a challenge and as privilege to be able to “welcome the homeless, to share with them and help them”.   Challenges and frustrations are part of  daily life. The community works for the spirit of “belonging and healing” of its members.

The daily life of Fatima House is full of small moments of joy and sorrow.   Some find a job, others lose their job, some get social benefits while others continue to err on the roads of bureaucracy, new volunteers arrived, others came to share food and cloths, new alliances, new friends, etc.     The year was overshadowed with some painful moments : Carlos and Michelle passed away, Oscar in rehabilitation after a stroke, Raimen  disappeared shortly after arriving, Evert rejoiced in May becoming new father of Julian, but was deported to Honduras three months later, leaving his child behind and a mother  in difficulties.

May 2019 be a year of blessings !

 

 

 

We can turn the tide – We refuse to accept

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We can turn the tide … because we refuse to accept.

We refuse to accept that people have to sleep at the doorsteps of churches because they lack a decent place to stay that they can call “home”.    We refuse to accept the hopelessness and loneliness of elderly people without sufficient food and care.  We refuse to accept that people with mental health issues roam the streets and lack for many reasons the special care they need.  We refuse to accept that veterans have to deal with their traumas on their own.   We refuse to accept any person to go hungry or thirsty at the doorsteps of our houses.   We refuse to accept to see people excluded from society even if they have completed the sentence for past mistakes.  We refuse to accept any social injustices.

We can make a difference. We can turn the tide.  We can transform negative in positive !  We have not done enough … We can do DAVANTAGE.

We must act, and inspire others to act.  We must spread a fire of small acts of genuine goodness.  We can and we must spread fire and light …     We can be source of life.  We can resist the  bureaucracy and systems that don’t give life, but nourish themselves on the lives of all persons that come in contact with them.  We promote creativity to find unexplored solutions.   We don’t give up.   There is always something we can do !   We can always do “DAVANTAGE” !