The Knights of Columbus have donated a generous sum in order to fund a new oxygen plant in Peru. The world-wide fraternal organization has put up nearly $150,000 for the project, which will produce life-saving oxygen to aid in the treatment of COVID-19. Previously, the Knights donated $250,000 to Peru, in the form of medical oxygen and other supplies to treat the indigenous people of the Amazon.
The people of Peru have been pleading for help with their oxygen shortage since June of 2020. The lack of medical oxygen, a necessary resource for the treatment of the coronavirus, has led to many avoidable deaths. The new oxygen plant will help supply the region of Piura, the second most populated center of Peru.
At the start of the pandemic, Peru’s medical facilities had already been taxed by natural disasters. Hospitals found themselves with a shortage of both oxygen and ICU beds, forcing many patients to suffer in their homes. According to a press release, the new facility will be capable of filling around 50 10m3 oxygen tanks daily. These supplies will go toward patients in both hospitals and private residences.
The Knights undertook this important project at the behest of Archbishop José Antonio Eguren of the Archdiocese of Piura, Peru. Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly, who worked closely with the archbishop, said of the donation:
“Breathing is so fundamental that we often take it for granted, and now we see men, women and children literally desperate for this basic necessity. The Knights’ principle of charity impels us to act and provide resources necessary for our brothers and sisters in Christ to live through this global crisis.”
“Leave No Neighbor Behind”
The funds donated to the new plant came as a part of the Knights’ “Leave No Neighbor Behind” initiative. The KofC began the initiative in an effort to continue charitable works while adhering to pandemic regulations. The campaign has included a multimillion-dollar campaign to support food pantries in the US and Canada. They have also offered lines of credit to dioceses in crisis and helped support Rome’s Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital.
Of the Knights of Columbus’ pandemic initiatives, Supreme Knight Kelly said:
“We have pledged to leave no neighbor behind, and this commitment to this work in South America speaks to that,” Supreme Knight Kelly said. “In our response to the coronavirus as with so many other initiatives, we will hold true to the saying, ‘where there is a need, there is a Knight.’”
Learn more about the Knights of Columbus, their charitable endeavors, and how to get involved here.
Knights of Columbus send critically needed oxygen to Amazon patients