Former Belgian YCW and European YCW collaborator, Gerard Lutte, who lived and worked for the last 30 years of his life in Guatemala, has died at the age of 94.
A psychologist by training, he authored a number of books and studies.
In Guatemala, he founded the Movement of Street Children (MOJOCA) to which he dedicated his life.
Explaining this he wrote:
Mojoca has always worked with young people living on the streets. We have welcomed them, guided and educated them, let them play a role in society again. They do this from their own strength because taking care of themselves is in their DNA. Since the COVID-19 crisis broke out, our daily reality has been thoroughly shaken up. The streets are empty, deserted. People are frightened. Our own young people, in turn, are now taking to the streets in search of those who live a similar life. To help them. Because, you know, there is no food, no shelter, no opportunity to earn any money. Who else cares about their fate?
To fulfill our mission of helping street girls and boys organize to defend their rights, improve their quality of life and integrate into society as responsible citizens, we must follow a star that guides our path: this star is the identity, the philosophy, the fundamental values of the street girls and boys movement.
In a tribute to Gerard, the International YCW and the International Cardijn Association noted:
Gérard, born in Belgium, lived for many years in Rome and for the last 30 years in Guatemala City. He was the soul of a network of friendship and struggle in Belgium, Italy and Guatemala. Gérard was a collaborator of the Belgian YCW in the 1970s and a collaborator of the European YCW and the International YCW in the 1980s. He took part in the International Council in Sao Paulo in 1987.
He is the founder of MOJOCA-Movimiento de Jovenes de la Calle in Guatemala. Until his death, he devoted all his strength and conviction to this movement.
As far as the YCW was concerned, Gérard was always present, always ready to support the movement. He was a great soul with a strong fighting spirit. He leaves us, but his testimony, so powerful, remains anchored in each of those who knew him and in the societies to which he contributed to make them fairer and more human!
We share the grief of his family and his many friends, to whom we offer our most sincere condolences.
In the empty streets of Guatemala City young people face hunger, Mojoca offers them help (We Social Movements)