ECUADOR: Migrant families receive food and support
More than 80 migrant families provided with food assistance through Salesian Solidarity Canteen in Quito
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries are providing food and support to migrants, particularly those from Venezuela, at the Salesian Solidarity Canteen in Quito, Ecuador. Since November 2020, more than 80 families have benefited from the support, which is provided in compliance with all health and safety measures. This initiative has received support from the Salesian Mission Office in Ecuador.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Don Bosco Mission in Quito has helped families in need. Early on, Salesians distributed $60 vouchers to dozens of Ecuadorian families living in poverty and extreme poverty in various parts of the country. The vouchers were granted three times, enabling families to purchase basic necessities from supermarkets close to where they live.
In areas where there are no such supply centers, Salesian missionaries created an alliance with neighborhood stores so that people could 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 the number of people in need, the Salesian initiative extended to 1,800 families.
“Whether it’s providing for the basic needs of families in local communities or migrants settling into their new communities for the first time, Salesian missionaries are in the forefront of helping families in need,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco.
Salesian missionaries in Ecuador focus on providing education, social programming and workforce development to help the country’s most vulnerable citizens. Technical and vocational education is also provided to help youth gain the skills needed to find and retain long-term stable employment.
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