Adventist Church Provides Assistance to Flood Victims in Argentina

[Photo: Alexis Villar]

South American Division

Adventist Church Provides Assistance to Flood Victims in Argentina

ADRA and Adventist Solidarity Action are working in the city of Concordia to improve the living conditions of families affected by the overflow of the Uruguay River.

Humanitarian | Argentina | Alexis Villar, with ANN Staff

After the intense rains recorded in southern Brazil since the end of April, the Uruguay River, located in the northeastern sector of Argentina, rose in such a way that it forced hundreds of families to evacuate. The provinces of Corrientes and Entre Ríos in Argentina turned out to be the most affected.

“The water entered our entire house. As the water rose, it took things to the upper floor, but you will not recover what breaks. That's why I built upstairs, to carry things when it floods down here. We live with my family, my wife, and two children. If the water covered my entire house, I was going to put a tent in the corner,” says Juan, who lives on the banks of the Uruguay River, in Concordia. He is one of the many people affected who decided to stay in his house during the flood.

Juan is one of those affected by the flooding of the Uruguay River.
Juan is one of those affected by the flooding of the Uruguay River.

ADRA's Work

Representatives of ADRA Argentina carrying out one of the information surveys on the affected families.
Representatives of ADRA Argentina carrying out one of the information surveys on the affected families.

As a result, the Adventist Development and Assistance Resources Agency (ADRA) Argentina has been in the Entre Ríos city of Concordia since the previous week, collecting information to provide a response according to the current situation.

“Our team spoke with the Mayor of Concordia, Francisco Azcué, to find out his view on the situation. We also visited the five currently active evacuee centers to talk with the families and people in charge of the spaces,” ADRA highlighted.

María José Amigo, director of ADRA programs, in the data collection.
María José Amigo, director of ADRA programs, in the data collection.

“More than 500 people had to evacuate to the different centers in the city or to the homes of friends and family,” said María José Amigo, program director of ADRA Argentina. Mateo Gregorio, a member of ADRA's national emergency response team, added: “This flood, unlike others, has the disadvantage that it is happening at a time of low temperatures, making heating the spaces very difficult.”

ADRA Argentina together with members of the Adventist Church of Concordia, Entre Ríos, ready to support together with the ASA department.
ADRA Argentina together with members of the Adventist Church of Concordia, Entre Ríos, ready to support together with the ASA department.

ADRA's work continues, and it is expected that its volunteers, many of them members of the Adventist Church of the Concordia district, will provide news in the coming days. In this sense, “in emergencies, a fundamental part of our response is volunteering; that is why we want to thank the church for being where we always respond,” Mateo summarized.

One of the most affected areas in Concordia.
One of the most affected areas in Concordia.

Adventist Solidarity Action

The desire to help and collaborate prompted the Concordia Adventist church members to go where the people need help the most.

ASA volunteers from the Concordia Adventist church ready to visit evacuee centers.
ASA volunteers from the Concordia Adventist church ready to visit evacuee centers.

Luis Briceño, coordinator of Adventist Solidarity Action (ASA) , highlighted the work together with ADRA in order to provide the best possible help to evacuated families.

María José Amigo and Luis Briceño in the joint talk between ADRA and ASA to coordinate actions in favor of the most vulnerable.
María José Amigo and Luis Briceño in the joint talk between ADRA and ASA to coordinate actions in favor of the most vulnerable.

On Saturday, May 18, the pastor of the local district, Darío Pérez, in collaboration with the volunteers of the ASA team, organized to accompany the families with Granix cookies and spend time carrying out activities in two evacuee centers.

ASA volunteers at the recreation center where the Regiment's evacuated families were spending the day.
ASA volunteers at the recreation center where the Regiment's evacuated families were spending the day.

The first of them is the center of the Regiment. There, people cross the street to go to the municipal property to do outdoor activities. It is there where the ASA volunteers “are accompanied by a Church, and it is the place where there are the most children. About 38 children are with their evacuated parents. Today, we brought some food, and the municipality is doing some activities that will conclude with a chocolate, so we joined in with cookies for this activity where the kids are going to have their snack,” commented Pérez from the property.

Sebastián is one of those affected by the flooding of the Uruguay River and is in the Regiment's evacuee center.
Sebastián is one of those affected by the flooding of the Uruguay River and is in the Regiment's evacuee center.

“We are once again worried about the housing, how it may be after the river when it returns to its normal level,” shared Sebastián, one of the evacuees in the Regiment center and added: “We are nervous with my family, my boys, because the material losses, more than anything in the house, the furniture. A sadness. The flood was very fast and now we are worried about the return.”

Families receive Granix products from ASA volunteers.
Families receive Granix products from ASA volunteers.

Another of the evacuee centers is known as former Bagley. “We also have a group of families there. There are fewer boys; However, we will be handing out cookies so that families can add to what the municipality gives them. We collaborate with cookies so that they can have them for breakfast and also accompany them for lunch and dinner,” said Pérez.

ASA volunteers with the ADRA Argentina team at the former Bagley evacuee center, with evacuated families.
ASA volunteers with the ADRA Argentina team at the former Bagley evacuee center, with evacuated families.

“I want to thank the Adventist Church more than anything, because last year they were also willing to come and donate hygiene things to me. Now, two days ago, they also came so they could be with us nearby and give us solutions when we returned home. So I am very happy with the church, with the pastor, with you, because you always come and want to collaborate, which is the most important thing,” concluded Sebastián.

How to Help

It is expected that in the next few days the water will begin to go down.
It is expected that in the next few days the water will begin to go down.

ADRA Argentina offers the possibility of adding your help to those most affected through donations. There are two options to do so:
1. In an Adventist Church, through the tithing envelope with the code 40 friends of ADRA.
2. Through the ADRA website, entering here .

“From the ADRA team we want to thank you for your support and prayers at this very complex time for the affected families,” concluded Amigo.

The original article was published on the South American Division Spanish website.