Artemisa, Cuba - Who does not keep memories of our childhood and our relatives told us to give a hand to grandparents, to help them cross the street, especially if we saw them sick? The image of anyone giving a hand to an old man moves even the hardest of heart.
Then moments like these come to reaffirme principles, and a new reason for heroes appears. An idea, a logo and a label appear in two days. The project is organized and even wings are born to dream the impossible.
So, up with the youth!!: the “lost”ones, the criticized, the one who listens to reggaeton and goes out to parties until dawn; they go beyond universities borders and organizations and establish on the streets, because, although the call is to stay at home, there are those who would not have a way to live if they follow the order. Also, humanism has the youth face.
And just like spring flowers, #TeDoyMiMano brigade was founded, an idea of the Union of Young Communists (UJC) to offer help to grandparents who live alone or cannot leave home to look for food.
Meivys Estévez Echevarría, first secretary of UJC in the province, assured that when there were not yet some lists of those venerated people ... the young people were ready to begin the task.
▪️Stories to tell
The first to write this novel were Herminio García and young Dayron Delgado, in contact thanks to el artemiseño newspaper. Then, like a wave of beautiful sensations, the youth contingent was founded.
Aidé and Sirilo are over 60 years old. They have taught much more than knowledge to their students in El Gabriel community, Güira de Melena. Selianys Crespo, heir to the values transmitted by her teacher in the classroom, did not hesitate to join #TeDoyMiMano brigade. Perhaps that is why Aidé was not surprised when she saw the young girl, now a student at Artemisa University (UA), knocking on her door.
“What a coincidence: I have to help my teacher! This time I have the opportunity to give her back how much she taught me in elementary school. It is my way of helping Cuba, of being useful to face such a complex situation, ”Selianys said on WhatsApp.
“I also help in the delivery of lunches sent by the Government to people associated with the Family Care System; my mother carries out the task in the municipality and, thus, incidentally, I give her a hand ”.
In Artemisa , Amaury Casanueva, a second year English student in UA), learned about the project almost by chance. “In our group we have a chat, and one day I found out. I signed up right away. It does not interfere with me at all, much less at this time and, on the other hand, I help a lot ”.
This young man cares for five old men. He began his messaging work last Thursday . “On arrival, a little after 2:00, as we were told, I did not queue; salesclerk knew the brigade´s role. In half an hour I was doing the deliveries. Everything very fast. Maria, one of the grandmothers, even wanted to give me money, but what's up! I do this from my heart.
"I was scared. I have tattoos, and we know how some older people think about it . I had just enough to dislike them. However, this is so beautiful and they have such happy faces when I arrive, that I imagine the will erase any old prejudice: mine will never worry about the values of Cuban youth again, ”says the 20-year-old boy.
▪️Art as light
Art has a healing power over people; for this reason, those who knocked on the door with the guitar in hand could not miss the call.
"That when all this ends we meet again, we will hold each other again!" Said artist Jose Sisto López in a video published on his social networks a few days ago. And in the end ... there are those who will see it sooner.
He stopped rehearsals some days ago: he temporarily gave up drums and is now in the task of spreading love, just as he has done with music.
“Antonia Campo and Jacinto Padrón have seen me grow. They are from my neighborhood. No one would help them better than me. They both are teachers (although Jacinto worked as a journalist for Radio Artemisa for more than 30 years), and they urgently needed help. She lives with her husband, he lives with his 103-year-old mother, ” Sisto said.
“When I'm in a queue I don't think about the hot ; each item delivered constitutes a contribution to save their lives, ”continued the also president of Hermanos Saíz Association (AHS) in Artemisa province.
“As president I am unhappy; not all associates took on the task. However, we have representatives in the 11 municipalities, and those who joined are delivering not only what they collect in pharmacies and markets : they are spreading love. ” And isn´t it art?
Aida Escudero Cabrera, a 95-year-old woman residing in Guanajay, faces the noble task of taking care of her sister, who is bedridden and is 93 years old.
Every morning —whether the sun shines or it rains—, she waits Greidys Miranda Acosta, an art instructor from the house of culture Zoila Gálvez in Guanajay, who changed rhythms and steps for solidarity and humanism.
“Nobody imgines the effort made so that these people do not leave their homes. I am in the queue for bread as in the pharmacy, ”said the young woman.
“I assist four grandparents daily; they welcome me with joy and confidence. Many invite me to have a cup of coffee and lunch, as a sign of gratitude, or tell me about their best years.
“Aida is very loving, just like her sister, who suffers from ulcers. One of my tasks involves going to the doctor office to find healing materials and manage his medications. I never thought that I would become so sensitive.
“In my popular council , after studying the most needy cases, we follow up on them. If someone requires our attention, we will be there, extending our hands, synonyms of heart ”
Greidys is accompanied by Dayalex, Surama and Daivis, other dance and music instructors, they are learning in the midst of the storm of the true meaning of "art is love made public."
“Many young people surprise us. Every day we add more. We are immensely happy; the acceptance in every corner of the province has been amazing. It is simply our duty. Although we must stay at home, if the corresponding sanitary measures are taken, there is no risk for the boys, and thus we take care of our elderly people, ”said the first secretary of the UJC in Artemisa.
Amaury, Selianys, Greidys and Sisto are a few stories of the 220 thanks to the youth team #TeDoyMiMano. They do not distinguish between university students, members of Hermanos Saíz Association or José Martí Brigade.
They walk the same path together. They mixed behind the flag of Camilo, Mella and Che, and multiplied: exactly 1,259, the number of elderly people benefited so far with hands that give love.
And you ... what are you waiting to offer yours?
TRANSLATION BY LMMS
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