Food Distribution Continues Over Summer Break

Though school remains closed for the summer holiday, our support to families in the scholarship plus program continues. As we have previously shared, in 2022 we expanded our scholarship program to not just provide for school fees, but to provide additional assistance with transportation, school supplies and uniforms, and monthly food distribution. A social worker completed a needs assessment to help determine which families would benefit most from the different aspects of the program. Families experiencing the most extreme poverty are given food allotments to ensure basic nutrition each month. These food distributions have continued through the summer holiday, including one last week. 

Preparing the bags of food for our monthly food distribution.

We spent one very rainy afternoon visiting a few of the families receiving food provisions through our scholarship plus program. We brought them 40+ pound bags containing oatmeal, rice, lentils, peanut butter, several different vegetables, and separately, 10 liters of bagged, long-lasting milk. The goal of this particular part of the program is to prevent malnutrition to ensure that children have the best chance of success in school. 

One family we visited lives in a structure made of bamboo. There are 2 parents, 4 children, and 2 grandchildren living in the 2 room structure. At the moment, there is nothing but a ladder to reach the second floor where the bamboo home is located. The family is very slowly building a structure out of cement blocks beneath their current home. It has taken them several years to complete the foundation and 2 walls. As you can imagine, they have many competing financial needs and are doing all of the construction work themselves on the weekends or when they are not working. Though they share that at times their living situation can be challenging, they are determined that their children succeed in school. We are honored to partner with them in this goal, and hope that these monthly food provisions can ease some of their burden to ensure their childrens’ well being. 

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A New Home for the Little Girls

We continue to feel so grateful for all you made possible in 2022, and are excited for what 2023 promises already. If you didn’t have a chance to check out our 2022 annual report, you can find it here

 

One of our newest projects in these first few months of 2023 is the construction of a new house for the little girls at the Mission Home. Toward the end of 2022, the Mission Home asked us to assist in building a new home for the little girls. The building where they are currently housed is over 30 years old and the position on the Mission campus makes it dark and prone to mold. It has only two bedrooms available for the girls making it fairly crowded. We saw how needed a new home was, but felt unsure of how we might finance such a large infrastructure project. Once again, we were humbled by the overwhelming generosity of our donor community. 

Construction on the new home for the little girls began in January, 2023.

After hearing of this particular need, one donor decided to give a gift in honor of their late father to construct the home. The donor shares that the reason she was able to commit to a gift of this size was because she recently sold her home, a process only possible because of her own father’s generosity towards her. How beautiful to think that the sale of one home, and the generosity of a loving father, will build a new home for children with complex and often difficult family situations here in Ecuador. The building process began in January, and is due to be completed in the next two months. The new home will have 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, a dining area, and a common play area. It will be home to 12 girls ranging in age from 2 years old to 12 years old, and one missionary caregiver. 

One of the little girls is particularly excited about the new home. Veronica* is 12 years old and has been living at the Mission Home for 3 years. Before she came to the Mission Home, she slept on a mattress with 3 of her siblings on the floor in the living room where her parents shared a second mattress on the floor. Currently, she has her own bed, but shares a room with 5 other girls between the ages of 2 years old and 9 years old. When the new home is finished, she will share a room with just 2 other girls. She is excited that she will get to stay up later without worrying about disturbing her little roommates’ sleep. She is excited that she will move somewhere new for the first time in her life. But mostly, she is excited that someone cares about her enough to want to build her and the rest of her housemates a new place to live. We share in her excitement and pass along her thanks and gratitude.

*Name changed to protect privacy.

Veronica working on her homework. She is so excited to move into the new home!

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