Engaging the Elderly

Post a Comment » Written on April 9th, 2014     
Filed under: Community Development
There are many Covenant Churches around the world. I haven’t personally been to a very large selection of these churches but I enjoy hearing stories of how they see a need in a community and work to address that need. One such church is the Evangelical Covenant Church in Chile.

Arts Fair 2013In 2012, the Evangelical Covenant Church in Osorno, Chile noticed that it had a large population of marginalized elderly members. These members are either homebound and unable to fully support themselves or are self-sufficient but have no occupation or motivation in life. The church approached CWR for a small grant to begin a project to meet that need.

During the first year of the project, a group of marginalized elderly members of the community got together and made fleece blankets and pajamas; they then gave these items to other marginalized members of the elderly community. This gave the group members something to do, a purpose outside themselves, and a skill to work on improving. It helped motivate them and improve their self-esteem to know that they were using their skills to help others in similar situations as themselves. In addition to donating the blankets, the members were able to sell a few of them at a senior crafts fair!

The Covenant Church in Chile is looking to expand the project this year and make it more sustainable. One way they are doing this is by adding an embroidery machine. This will allow group members to advance their artistic skills and add a design to the blanket. The group is also working on making bed sheets, in addition to just blankets and pajamas.

Though the expansion of the project is exciting, it is more exciting that this group of previously marginalized people is being brought into the larger church community.

-Michyla Lindberg, CWR intern

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