Head of School Blog

Guest Blog: Eighth Graders Take Action for Ecuador

The Eighth Grade Class | Volume: 5 Issue: 25 | April 20, 2016
As many of you know, the Eighth Graders are gearing up for our annual trip to Ecuador.  Every year before our trip, All Saints collects school supplies to take down for our day of service at the Amigo Guia childcare program.  Recently, western Ecuador was hit with a massive earthquake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale.  Though our trip and the many destinations we visit were not impacted by this tragedy, the country as a whole is suffering.  As part of our experience at All Saints, we have always been taught to respond to those in need.  We see this everywhere, from our work this week for Empty Bowls, to our Soles4Souls shoe drive every fall, to making sandwiches every week for St. Matthew’s.  Our spirituality theme this month is “Stewardship and Service”.  We are asking for your help to carry out the stewardship and service that we know is our responsibility as global citizens of this caring community.  Please read on to find out more about these two very important causes.

It is not an uncommon thing in Ecuador for children to go to work instead of attending school. In many cases, this needs to happen to provide one’s family with adequate resources. However, this situation has gotten to the point where 10% of Ecuador’s adult population is illiterate, because they have worked throughout their childhood instead of getting a basic education. The government of Ecuador recently created laws that raised the legal minimum working age, and prevented children from working in dangerous conditions. Nonetheless, the fact remains that 30% of Ecuador’s population did not complete primary school, and 90% did not graduate from secondary school.  Moreover, many of the schools themselves are hardly satisfactory. Fifty percent of the schools in Ecuador’s rural regions lack electricity, and 9 in 10 do not have telephone access or any other means of communication. (www.unesco.org)

Amigo Guia is an organization that allows children to participate in a wide range of enrichment activities without a cost. This organization is located in Sangolqui, Ecuador, just south of Quito.  To help address the problem of children working on the streets, Amigo Quia provides programming to help children with their studies, including academic support, wrap-around care and enrichment classes. The only requirement Amigo Guia has is for parents to take a class that focuses on the importance of education and to plan for their children’s future.

Every year, Amigo Guia depends on our donations of pencils, pens, paper, markers and other supplies to provide for the children that come to their program. If they run out of supplies, the educators and instructors will not be able to educate Amigo Guia’s learners. We must bring this amazing and wonderful organization as many supplies as we possibly can collect, to make sure they continue their impactful work on all the young children they support!  Please leave your donations in the box at the front desk.

This year, in addition to our work with Amigo Guia, we will also be helping to provide relief from the recent earthquake.  With a death toll of more than 300 people (and counting), and an injured rate of more than 2,530 people, the earthquake that shook Ecuador is not something to be taken lightly. The quake that took place on Saturday, April 17, 2016 was so powerful that it crumbled buildings, roads, and the hearts of hundreds who lost their loved ones in this natural disaster. This mostly affected the following Ecuadorian cities: Guayaquil (Ecuador’s most populated city), Pedermale, Manta, and Portoviejo. Under the leadership of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, thousands of police and ambulances have been sent out to help alleviate and fix the almost irreversible damage done to the world’s equator country. Fortunately, this incident has not impacted our homestays, who live in Quito, or any of the areas to which we travel.  We wish Ecuador the best in trying to recover from this devastating catastrophe, and we hope to help them heal.  We will be collecting monetary donations to take on our trip and purchase items there.  Please leave your donation with the front desk at either location, or make a donation an online donation on our website (just write "Ecuador" in the comments box). Thank you so much for your support.

Questions?  Comments?  Ideas?  I’d love to hear them!  Email me: jsingleton@allsaintsdayschool.org