The SHARE Legacy - A Letter from Sister Ellen
From Sister Ellen Scherzinger – a Franciscan nun who works together with Sister Dr. Christine Scherzinger (a medical doctor for the poor ) and the Brazilian Sister Ermelinda (director in slum schools).
“About 30 years ago I met a married couple from Canada at the bus station in Mossoró. They were members of the SHARE organization, realizing a great idea – training Brazilian farmers to take care of beautiful Holstein cattle, donated by Canadian donors in order to help poor people in the Northeast of Brazil, where Mossoró is situated.
I am a German Franciscan nun, working in Brazil for 38 years. When I met those Share members, I had already founded an institution for poor children (Lar da Criança Pobre de Mossoró), exclusively in order to help the poor, specially the children, There were so many hungry and homeless children in the streets, we received them and let them stay in our house during the day; those who had no parents to take care of them, also spent the night with us. There was a great need that they could study; we built schools for them that are going on up to this day.
The friendly Canadian couple promised milk to me – and soon after they kept the promise. From that time on, every day, our institution has got about 20 liters of excellent milk from ESAM – the agricultural university of Mossoró where the Canadian cattle have been taking care of. I think it must have been about 20 000 children who have already got the benefits of that milk during last 30 years: in our schools (9), in the slums (favelas), in our professional courses for poor boys and girls (about 500 at the moment), in our homes for abandoned children who have grown up in our substitution homes, in some mud houses where the mothers did not have milk themselves to give it to their babies, and in prisons, where we have visited a lot of staffing men.
How has the milk been used? Directly, drinking it (rarely); indirectly in many forms – paps of flour, of corn, of rice, within cakes, “cuscuz” (corn), within tea and coffee; at any time of the day: for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and other opportunities, for children and hungry adults, old and sick people, for beggars in front of our house, asking for food.
20 liters is not much for all those people. In fact, it is less than they need, but during the last decades it was the only milk we have had, because we cannot buy it extra. We need the money for a lot of things that can only be paid by money: water, electric energy, gasoline, salaries of the people who work with us, etc. If that milk not had been given by ESAM who took care of the Canadian cows we could not have had it. That Canadian donation has contributed much to the health of our children and that of many poor people.
Many thanks to the Canadian donors. Many thanks to the members of SHARE responsible for that donation that has done an immense good to the poor in the Northeast of Brazil, for 30 years.”