Cañete (Peru) -- Condoray: women as the key to their own development

Since its start on May 23, 1963, Condoray has tried to foster the human, social and spiritual advancement of women in the province of Cañete.

More than 25,000 women have participated in the development programs of Condoray Center for the Professional Formation of Women, a corporate apostolate of Opus Dei.

On the occasion of its 45th anniversary, a ceremony was held at the seat of the Provincial Government of Cañete followed by a Mass of Thanksgiving at the shrine of Our Lady of Fairest Love, which was attended by rural development workers, teachers, students, friends, and representatives of various organizations.

At the end of Mass, the Apostolic Blessing of His Holiness Benedicts XVI was read, in which he encouraged the Center “to continue its teaching task with wisdom and perseverance.” The Roman Pontiff said that he prayed that “this teaching institution may radiate the love of Christ and foster the integral growth of those taking part, making them faithful witnesses of the Gospel, solicitous collaborators of the Church and builders of a just and peaceful society in solidarity with the poor and needy.”

The center offers the following technical programs, each lasting three years: secretarial, hospitality services administration, and accounting. Condoray also encourages the creation of micro-businesses, through the Center for Women's Business Training, a program that was begun in June of 2005. Since its start, over 1500 women have taken part in courses of training that have helped them to start their own businesses, thus providing income and raising their families' standard of living.

Throughout these 45 years, Condoray has provided educational programs and food assistance to some 20,000 children and has taught over 7,000 women to read using an innovative methodology. The experience of this program resulted in the publication of a new Primer for Literacy in 2003.

Condoray's work of social development has spread beyond the borders of Peru. Since 1985 about 700 university women from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Paraguay, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland, have come to work in the villages of Cañete. Young women from Lima and other cities of Peru have also helped out in the Condoray rural programs.

Romana, n. 46, January-June 2008, p. 143-144.

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