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Sharing Christmas with Indonesia's poor

January 8 2021

Indonesia

Article by Konradus Epa, Jakarta

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Pandemic forces Sant'Egidio Community to change the way it helped the marginalized over the festive season.

Celebrating Christmas amid the Covid-19 pandemic for the Sant'Egidio Community in Indonesia saw the Catholic lay group reaching out and sharing the joys with marginalized and poor people in the Muslim-majority nation. Risking their lives, community members distributed food and basic necessities on Christmas Day to scavengers, tricycle and pedicab drivers, the elderly, street children, disabled people and the homeless regardless of their ethnic or religious backgrounds.

This humanitarian effort not only took place in Jakarta but also in 15 other cities across the country, including Pontianak in West Kalimantan, Denpasar in Bali, Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara and Medan in Sumatra. Unlike in previous years when Christmas lunches were held, this year the group chose to go to meet the people who have been affected badly by the pandemic on the streets or in their communities.
 
"Despite Covid-19, we continued our services on Christmas Day to share love" Eveline Winarko, a Sant’Egidio Community Indonesia coordinator, told UCA News.

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