Between March and July, we gave out about 1 million meals to families in the surrounding towns. This herculean effort by our fairly small charity was made possible only by the incredible outpouring of generosity of our donors (including many new ones) and the local community who volunteered to put in the hours of daily work to distribute food (pictured above).
We are incredibly proud to have been part of this crisis response. As donations poured in, we were humbled by the generosity of our donors, and it enabled us to reach more and more families. On behalf of thousands of families here, thank you!
In so many ways, this has been a very difficult time for us. It is devastating to see such widespread suffering. People are so grateful for helping them feed their families. The reaction of most people is immense gratitude and joy for the help we bring (which we pass along to you). The few people who receive our help with tears often thank us profusely. The people here are extremely resilient, strong, and kind. We are left with a deepening admiration for our families here.
During the past few months, the Mission Home drew on the Emergency Food Fund twice. We created this Fund last year and it has been getting good use. The children have been very well fed! The women have been busy with trying to adapt to the online classes that the children are taking. The tutors that we hired last year for the children that were not able to be in school are now leading all the children at the home in their daily online classes. Trying to keep 80 children engaged in online learning is no small feat and we are incredibly impressed with our tutors.
Ecuador is slowly reopening their economy, but restaurants, bars and beaches are still closed, which employs a significant amount of people in our towns. Although some people have been able to return to work, many people are left without any income. We expect our area like most of Ecuador to enter into an economic depression. The World Bank estimates that Latin America as a whole will lose 20 years of progress in poverty reduction as a result of this crisis.
The situation has led us to examine our mission and vision here in Ecuador. We believe more than ever that educating children will improve their lives and the lives of the community around them.