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Lay Marists Inspired by Brother Eduardo Botero Arango

04/10/2019: Colombia

On Saturday, September 7, the group of Lay Marists "Brother Eduardo Botero Arango" of Bogotá—in honor of the former Provincial of the former Marist Province of Colombia, who died last year—organized a preventive health care team for the students of Colegio Soledad Acosta de Samper in Bosa, a school administered by the Marist Brothers since the beginning of this year.

Through this activity we wanted to respond to the calls of the XXII General Chapter and the VI Provincial Chapter, inviting the Marists of Champagnat to respond to emerging needs by prioritizing service to the most vulnerable.

Inspired by the work of Brother Eduardo and his eagerness to serve his neighbor, the lay Marists, some of them health professionals, cared for 123 children between the ages of 4 and 11—119 students from kindergarten, transition, and first, second and third grades from the school and 4 children from the neighborhood. Tthe children's height and weight were taken and their Body Mass Index (BMI) determined, along with their growth charts, in order to be able to diagnose deficiencies in growth and development and/or nutrition needs. In the area of dentistry, they were given the COP index (decayed, filled and lost), oral hygiene education, fluoridation and diagnosis of occlusion and/or respiratory problems, which have an impact on phono-audiological problems, and other obstacles to good reading and writing skills.

The team began the day with a presentation and a talk to parents, where the importance of preventive health was explained and how events of this type can be instrumental in the development of their children.

While the students waited to be seen, various videos were shown on oral health, bodily hygiene and the life and work of St. Marcellin Champagnat.

We thank Lic. Diana Cristina Lozano, rector of the school, as well as Mr. Brian Baquero, Evangelization Coordinator, for their availability, welcome and collaboration in carrying out this initiative. Our thanks also go to Heidy Vanegas, Johana González, Marcela Fuerte and Tatiana Ramírez, collaborators of the school in the area of student wellness. Our final and most special thanks to the Lord Jesus for having blessed our activity and to St. Marcellin Champagnat for having bequeathed to us a Marian and apostolic charism that invites us to go out to meet children and young people to tell them how much Jesus loves them.

The late Brother Eduardo Botero Arango was a lover of the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family, and for many years he accompanied and encouraged them from its very beginning during the mandate of Brother Charles Howard.

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