ECUADOR: Salesians aid families impacted by flooding
Homes, schools and health centers affected in area with high levels of poverty
(MissionNewswire) The Salesian community in Esmeraldas, Ecuador, has launched a “Giving is Giving Hope” campaign to collect non-perishable foods, clothes in good condition, and basic necessities for people who have been impacted by the recent flooding in the province, which is in the northwest of the country. Heavy rains have caused six rivers to break their banks, resulting in flooding in the area and impacting more than 14,000 people, according to the National Secretariat for Risk Management. Initial estimates indicate that 2,895 homes, 21 schools and seven health centers have been affected.
To help with the situation, Salesians have transformed rooms at the Maria Auxiliadora Salesian Educational Center into a donation collection center. In the attached parish, a community canteen has been set up where 200 lunches and dinners are prepared every day. Thanks to the support of lay collaborators and volunteers, Salesians were able to provide food to dozens of families who have few financial resources. According to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Census, the province of Esmeraldas has one of the the highest levels of poverty in the coastal region of the country.
Father Robert García, rector of the Salesian community in Esmeraldas, explained, “The greatest damage occurred in the San Rafael Valley, an area that is under the pastoral care of the Salesians and where teachers, students and faithful linked to the community live. Families have lost all their personal belongings because their homes have been covered with mud and water. A social work team has been set up to visit the homes of teachers and students and people linked to the parish to provide them with the necessary help.”
Several Salesian communities in Ecuador have joined this solidarity effort and have taken action to collect products to meet the most urgent needs of the people in Esmeraldas.
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Salesian Missions – Ecuador
UNICEF – Ecuador