It’s not my intention to even try and write the complete history of the village of Santa Clara, Cerro Navia, Santiago de Chile. However, for more than 35 years now I have been hearing and reading stories about Santa Clara from members of my family who lived in Santa Clara for many years, and from people of Santa Clara. I have spent a couple of weeks in Santa Clara myself, but above all: I am Edgard (Eddy) Adriaens from Nederhasselt-Ninove, in Flanders, Belgium. I have had the pleasure and honor to meet and get to know some of the fine and courageous women who invested their time and energy, their life, into changing Santa Clara from a dump for displaced slum-dwellers into a village where hope, support and real chances are offered to all those who believe in creating a better world for themselves and their children. Should you not agree with any of the stories that I am planning to write, please feel free to react and correct or complete my words where necessary.

There is no such thing as One Truth. Especially not when it comes to interpreting and writing about the history of people. But this should never refrain us from telling Our Truth.

This is a story of a girl in her early twenties, inspired by one idea: to help the neediest people she could find. She eventually found her way to a shanty town in Santiago, Chile, as part of a Mill Hill Mission. Soon after her arrival in Santiago, she took the dramatic decision to give up the “standard approach” to “helping slum dwellers”. Instead of staying in a comfortable place herself and supporting the people of Clara Zetkin from there, she built her own wooden cottage inside the slum and went to live with the people, share the dirt and poverty with them and fight together with them for better living conditions. For more than 12 years, she lived with the people from Clara Zetkin. The first half of this period, she shared their lives in conditions unworthy of man. The last part, she accompanied them in the new social barrio to which they were displaced, named Santa Clara. This is the year 1978, and the girl I am writing about is my sister, Marlies Adriaens. Ea pro natum invidunt repudiandae, his et facilisis vituperatoribus. Mei eu ubique altera senserit, consul eripuit accusata has Marlies was the third of seven An other sister, preparing to A period of specialized courses and ne. Ea pro natum invidunt repudiandae, his et facilisis vituperatoribus. Sed ut nunc adipiscing leo porttitor pharetra. Nam children and grew up in a deeply continue the sister’s job at Hogar de preparations followed. Then came a dictum. Mauris eu eros. Aenean vulputate dolor quis felis. Etiam accumsan adipiscing massa. Nunc pharetra tortor a odio. Catholic home in Terjoden, a small Cristo, finally could not go. With surprise telephone call from one Nullam molestie justo. Maecenas eget nunc. Nunc pellentesque aliquam magna. Suspendisse ultrices sodales orci. Vestibulum village near Aalst in Flanders, her mind meanwhile turned to the Antonia Beentjens in Holland: Would dolor dui, viverra sit amet, venenatis eu, volutpat vitae, massa. Belgium. After graduating as a sufferings and needs of the poor she be interested in a joint trip to nurse, she took short courses in all people in Chile, Marlies promised Chile? Six months later, the two girls sorts of practical things. Whilst the sisters that she would go to Chile found themselves lodged with two working as a nurse in a hospital in herself to help the people who most separate families in the suburbs of Aalst, she became friendly with a Santiago, to learn Spanish. needed her help and assistance. nun who had just returned home from Chile.


Marlies and Anthonia were lodged in Maipú, in a respectable suburb of Santiago. Yet, on the other side of the road was a campamento: a collection of about 400 shacks housing about 3.000 people. According to local gossip, the campamento was a hotbed of vice, drugs, violence, robbery and prostitution. The reality, such as Marlies and Anthonia observed it, was that these were families who had fled the poverty from other regions and were hoping to find work and build a decent living in Santiago. Marlies Adriaens, aged 23, soon after her arrival in Santiago de Chile. Soon, they started frequenting the people from the campamento.

They immediately learned that the people from the campamento, though treating them with the greatest respect, were suspicious about their real intentions and afraid to talk about their problems. After all, this was 1978 and the country was being ruled with iron hand by Pinochet. People – especially poor people were not allowed to organize, and the oppression and intimidation from army and police had left the people very conscious of their vulnerability and afraid of retaliations should they dare to break the law.

There was something else hindering the relations between the people from the campamento and the two European girls. “How can you help us? You don’t even understand our reality” they were told over and over again. “At night, you go to sleep in a warm bed; during the week-ends, you eat at restaurants and watch movies in the cinema … you don’t know how it is to spend your days in mud and dirt, not being able to send your children to school, or to pay a doctor when they need one. With some trepidation, the two girls decided to built their own little cottage and settle down amongst the people of the slum. “One day, no more than one day, that is how long it will take before you are raped and robbed”, the good people of Maipú warned them. “I have been robbed”, Marlies smiles: “But never in Chile. Some years ago however, in Brussels, the radio was stolen from my car”.

To live with the people and be part of their life, was a first step. The second step was, to become aware of the problems. There was no shortage of these: poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, in some cases even bordering on starvation, especially in the children. In addition: widespread neurosis in the women and alcoholism in the men, both the fruit of frustration and despair. There were the health problems related to living in conditions not worthy of man: skin diseases, respiratory problems, allergies, parasites, … Step three was the most difficult: convince the people to organize. “They will imprison us, they will raid our houses, shoot at us, …” The tragic truth was that, unless they organized, they would lose all they ever hoped to find in Santiago. Families would fall apart, people would die. There was no alternative to organizing. And so, they organized!

The first initiatives concentrated on the children. First, a “children restaurant” was organized with leftovers from adjacent markets and food begged in shops. But soon, lack of space forced them to switch to a system of “village kitchen” in which teams of women prepared the meals, which were then taken home and eaten in family circle. Knit-teams made the uniforms that allowed the children to go to school and the smartest youngsters helped the slow learners amongst younger children. Once started, the people were eager to learn and create opportunities: lessons in dressmaking, hair care and electricity were organized and the municipal authorities were contacted about items such as distribution of water and electricity, collection of household refuse and medical assistance.


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Life and work
Zetkin was born Clara Eissner in Wiederau, a peasant village in Saxony.[1] Her father, Gottfried Eissner, was a schoolmaster and church organist who was a devout Protestant, while her mother, Josephine Vitale Eissner, came from a bourgeoisie family from Leipzig and was highly educated.[1][2][3] Having studied to become a teacher, Zetkin developed connections with the women's movement and the labour movement in Germany from 1874. In 1878 she joined the Socialist Workers' Party (Sozialistische Arbeiterpartei, SAP). This party had been founded in 1875 by merging two previous parties: the ADAV formed by Ferdinand Lassalle and the SDAP of August Bebel and Wilhelm Liebknecht. In 1890 its name was changed to its modern version Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). Because of the ban placed on socialist activity in Germany by Bismarck in 1878, Zetkin left for Zurich in 1882 then went into exile in Paris. During her time in Paris she played an important role in the foundation of the Socialist International socialist group. She also adopted the name of her lover, the Russian revolutionary Ossip Zetkin, with whom she had two sons, Kostja and Maxim. Ossip Zetkin died in 1889. Later, Zetkin was married to the artist Georg Friedrich Zundel, eighteen years her junior, from 1899 to 1928. In the SPD, Zetkin, along with Rosa Luxemburg, her close friend and confidante, was one of the main figures of the far-left revolutionary wing of the party. In the debate on Revisionism at the turn of the

twentieth century she, along with Luxemburg, attacked the reformist theses of Eduard Bernstein.

Stamp of the GDR

Zetkin and Rosa Luxemburg, 1910 Zetkin was very interested in women's politics, including the fight for equal opportunities and women's suffrage. She developed the socialdemocratic women's movement in Germany; from 1891 to 1917 she edited the SPD women's newspaper Die Gleichheit (Equality). In 1907 she became the leader of the newly founded "Women's Office" at the SPD. She started up the first "International Women's Day" on 8 March 1911, launching the idea of it in Copenhagen, in what later became the Ungdomshuset. During the First World War Zetkin, along with Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg and other influential SPD politicians, rejected the party's policy of Burgfrieden (a truce with the government, promising to refrain from any strikes during the war). Among other anti-war activities, Zetkin organised an

Banknote of the GDR Clara Zetkin (née Eißner; 5 July 1857 - 20 June 1933) was an influential socialist German politician and a fighter for women's rights. Until 1917, she was active in the Social Democratic Party of Germany, then she joined the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD) and its far-left wing, the Spartacist League; this later became the Communist Party of Germany (KPD), which she represented in the Reichstag during the Weimar Republic from 1920 to 1933. Contents     1 Life and work 2 Posthumous honors 3 See also 4 Further reading

international socialist women's antiwar conference in Berlin in 1915. Because of her anti-war opinions, she was arrested several times during the war. In 1916 Zetkin was one of the cofounders of the Spartacist League and the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD) which had split off in 1917 from its mother party, the SPD, in protest at its pro-war stance. In January 1919, after the German Revolution in November of the previous year, the KPD (Communist Party of Germany) was founded; Zetkin also joined this and represented the party from 1920 to 1933 in the Reichstag. She interviewed Lenin on "The Women's Question" in 1920.[4]

Until 1924 Zetkin was a member of the KPD's central office; from 1927 to 1929 she was a member of the party's central committee. She was also a member of the executive committee of the Communist International (Comintern) from 1921 to 1933. In 1925 she was elected president of the German left-wing solidarity organisation Rote Hilfe (Red Aid). In August 1932, as the chairwoman of the Reichstag by seniority, she called for people to fight National Socialism. When Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers Party took over power, the Communist Party of Germany was banned from the Reichstag, following the Reichstag fire in 1933. Zetkin went into exile for the last time, this time to the Soviet Union. She died there, at Archangelskloye, near Moscow, in 1933, aged nearly 76. She was buried by the wall of the Kremlin in Moscow.

Posthumous honors
 Zetkin was memorialized on the ten mark banknote of the now-defunct German Democratic Republic (GDR) (East Germany). In 1954, the GDR established the Clara Zetkin Medal (Clara-ZetkinMedaille) to honor women particularly active for women's rights.

Bust of Clara Zetkin in Dresden