ECUADOR: Don Bosco Mission in Quito provides food vouchers for 1,800 families
(MissionNewswire) Ecuador is one of the countries in Latin America most affected by COVID-19. The country is also facing tough economic conditions. President Lenin Moreno said, “COVID-19 struck at a critical moment, after a tough, very hard economic crisis.” Salesian missionaries in Ecuador continue to work for the poor and for those who suffer from compulsory confinement.
To help support those in great need, Don Bosco Mission in Quito has started distributing $60 vouchers to dozens of Ecuadorian families living in poverty and extreme poverty in various parts of the country. These vouchers will be granted three times, enabling the families to purchase the basic necessities from supermarkets close to where they live.
In areas where there are no such supply centers, Salesian missionaries have created an alliance with neighborhood stores so that people can buy fresh food at affordable prices and, at the same time, avoid the risk of contracting the coronavirus.
When the project started, the goal was to support close to 1,000 families. However, given how many people are in need at this time, the Salesian initiative has been extended to a total of 1,800 families.
“Today I have food to feed my family for a week, thanks to this voucher that will feed my three children,” said one mother. Another beneficiary stated, “With this voucher, I will be able to survive with my children because, at the moment, I cannot go out to work.”
“Our commitment has always been and will continue to be with the poorest and monitor their well-being. Through this campaign, we want to bring together as many people and institutions as possible to help the neediest population to have their own daily bread,” said the Salesians from Quito.
Ecuador is one of the most inequitable societies in the world, according to UNICEF. The richest 20 percent of the population receives almost 50 percent of the national income, while the poorest 20 percent receive only 5 percent. According to the World Food Program, almost 26 percent of all children under age 5 have stunted growth, increasing to 31 percent in rural areas and 47 percent in indigenous communities.
Close to 20 percent of Ecuador’s population is people of indigenous heritage. For poor, rural and indigenous youth, education provides the best opportunity for finding employment, reducing inequities and breaking the cycle of poverty. Salesian missionaries have been providing education and other social programs for disadvantaged youth across Ecuador for more than 125 years.
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Salesian Missions – Ecuador
UNICEF – Ecuador