The social action organisation ‘Caritas Diocesana de Tenerife’ has been providing housing and rehabilitation programmes for socially disadvantaged people on the island of Tenerife in the Canary Islands for more than 60 years. Logos Hope crewmembers were sent to assist with practical projects at its various locations, including the men’s house called ‘Café y Calor.’
The mission of Café y Calor is to help men struggling with addictions and mental disabilities, with the end goal of reintegrating them into society. The centre has a team of volunteers who help to keep the house running, including two grandmotherly women, Maria and Cura, who were busy cooking for the men when the team arrived. The women explained to the crewmembers that while the home currently houses 25 men, it connects with many more in addition to its residents.
Andres, the team’s project coordinator and the man in charge of Café y Calor, walked the group to the back of the house, and into the largest bedroom. “Do you see the colour of these walls?” he asked the team. “The blue feels so institutional, like a hospital. I want this to feel warm, like a home.”
Andres supplied plaster to repair the damaged walls, and a warm, lavender-coloured paint, and set the team to work updating the space for the men.
Vasco, a current resident at the house, poked his head into the bedroom to see what the team was working on. “Many of the men who live here do not have families. This house is their home,” said Vasco to the Logos Hope team. “It is great that you are painting. They will really appreciate it.”
Painting the bedroom may be a simple gesture, but the crewmembers hope the love and care put into it will be an encouragement to the men on their journey.