ECUADOR: Families receive essential items
Don Bosco alumni associations deliver baskets with food, clothes and other items
(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco alumni associations in Ecuador collaborated to bring joy to vulnerable people in cities across the country during the Christmas holiday. In Cuenca, 500 families were helped with baskets containing food, clothes and basic medicines, while more than 1,500 children were given toys and candies. Don Bosco alumni in Quito and Riobamba delivered baskets to more than 300 low-income families.
Many alumni helped the Salesians by offering and collecting donations. The Don Bosco alumni associations included Healing Wounds, Salesians of San Francisco, Centro San José de Manta, the Don Bosco Alumni Center and the Carlos Crespi educational community. On Saturdays during the year, a solidarity breakfast is also held in these locations.
A Salesian missionary noted, “These Christmas events provided a great opportunity for Don Bosco alumni to pay it forward and give back to their communities. So many families are faced with poverty, even more so now given the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic crisis. This was a chance for them to receive much-needed food and other necessary items and for children to receive gifts to brighten their Christmas.”
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 receives 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