NPR: Ecuadoran Family Finds Refuge With Salesians
(MissionNewswire) A touching National Public Radio (NPR) piece tells the story of Maribel Olmedo, the mother of seven children between the ages of 1 and 15 living in Guayaquil, Ecuador. To make a living to support her family, she was a street merchant, an entrepreneur. But she has been unable to work for two years ever since her 13-year-old son was hit by a car and she had to care for him.
To survive, the family turned to Salesians for food and assistance. In Ecuador, like in more than 130 countries around the globe, the Salesians are a safety net for the poorest members of society — with a special focus on helping vulnerable children and their families.
The article, by Larry Abramson and Marisa Penaloza, reads: “Her house is a concrete cinder block home. She and her husband bought the land from the city about 12 years ago and lived in a cane shack until last year, when the Salesians of Don Bosco, a Roman Catholic order, helped the family build the house.”
The eldest sons, ages 14 and 16, live in a Salesian shelter for boys during the week and come home to their mother on weekends. At the shelter, they attend school, learn life skills and are provided nutritious meals.
The Salesians specialize in teaching vocational skills to young people, so they can learn to care for themselves.
Maribel still has an entrepreneurial spirit and dreams of one day operating a food business from home.