All the activities presented below are obviously not an exhaustive list of Christmas events. Throughout the world, each member association of the International Federation of the Petits frères des Pauvres has worked to enable the people they serve to celebrate Christmas with dignity.
The holiday season, and especially Christmas, is at the heart of the missions of Les petits frères des Pauvres. During this period of festivities and social and cultural events, inequalities are exacerbated, and loneliness increases tenfold. In France, 14% of the population is alone at Christmas, including 2 million isolated elderly people.
That is why, every year, our volunteers mobilize and make it possible for isolated and disadvantaged elderly people to celebrate Christmas. Here are some examples of actions carried out in the four corners of the planet…
The children of an activity center and an elementary school in Athens made beautiful calendars and drawings accompanied by personal words that we sent to the persons accompanied.
As every year, food and toiletries were also distributed to many vulnerable beneficiaries.
A Christmas meal for about twenty people was organized. It was an opportunity for all the people accompanied to spend a warm moment around a good hot meal.
As every year, POPE celebrates Community Christmas with the participation of children, seniors, women, and other community members, including volunteers.
This year, 100 elders participated in Thallakulam, 50 elders in Jawadhu Hills and another 50 elders participated in Somasipadi. A total of 200 seniors enjoyed a Christmas dinner and received a gift.
The Amigos de los Mayores – México association, in addition to organizing the Christmas dinner, organizes Posadas in all the groups that form the association.
Posadas are traditional popular Christmas parties. “Posada” means accommodation. These celebrations take place 9 days before December 25th and are the popular representation of the pilgrimage of Mary and Joseph until his arrival in Bethlehem. The most anticipated moment of the Posada is when the piñata is broken. Once broken, a glass of punch or atole is distributed to each guest.
The entire Petits Frères family was able to celebrate holiday meals, which were held in a dozen regions across Quebec. This annual tradition was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to restrictions imposed by the pandemic. On December 24 and 25, an army of kind-hearted volunteers rang the doorbells of seniors to bring them to a festive meal.
Christmas Eve celebrations for the elderly were organized by many volunteers. In Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Munich, people sang, ate well, and received gifts.
In Berlin, the accompanied persons could enjoy the beautiful voice of an opera singer who interpreted German Christmas carols in the restaurant. The dog “Buddy” also helped to give everyone a little warmth to the elderly!
Our old friend Renate summarized the event as follows: “I want to thank you so much for the loving care you have given me every beautiful afternoon and Christmas. I always feel cared for and looked after as if I were in a family. So being alone is not so hard for me anymore”.