With so much attention rightly turned toward the COVID-19 crisis all over the world, it may seem like an unusual time to ask for your help for a group of children in a poor coastal town in Ecuador. Everyone across the globe is feeling the impact of this virus, an impact that is as far-reaching as it was unexpected.
We’ve had to cancel all in-person fundraising events including U.S. visits of bishops from the developing world who come to preach on behalf of the poor children and families they serve. Our partners, including the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales whom you’ll read about here, depend on us. If we let them down, there is no one else to help. Please remember that in times of crisis, the poor often suffer most.
With this in mind, we share with you our most recent project: a comprehensive program to help abandoned children living on an island off the coast of Ecuador.
Children like Yela are abandoned by their parents at a young age.
Little children like Yela, 11, face dire poverty every day. Yela is in the 5th grade. She’s lived with her grandmother since her parents abandoned her when she was just 5. Yela’s grandma is also poor, a widow, and has no proper work. She can’t afford school fees for Yela (just $10 per month), and struggles to provide for her other grandchildren.
Sadly, many children growing up in Esmeraldas come from families haunted by alcoholism, abuse, and addiction. When their parents abandon them, the lucky ones have grandparents they can turn to. Like Yela’s grandma, even the grandparents are desperately poor!
Sadly, the children without grandparents are destined for a life on the streets.
There’s hope. You can help.
As bad as things get in the communities we help, there’s always a reason for hope. In Esmeraldas, that hope comes in the form of Fr. John Kennedy and Fr. Melky Fernandes. Fr. John and Fr. Melky belong to the Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales (MSFS), and they’re working to launch a brand new Child Empowerment Project in Esmeraldas.
This new program, when fully funded, will take care of children’s practical needs including:
- A daily meal
- School fees
- Books and school supplies
- Uniforms for organized sports
- Counseling sessions
In addition, the missionaries’ work will provide for many of the children’s “intangible” needs including a safe, secure, loving environment where they can learn, grow, and flourish. Most importantly, in everything they do – in word and by their lived example – the missionaries will teach the children about God’s amazing love.
Will you stop and pray right now for this work and make a gift to help?
It costs $117 to support a child in the MSFS Child Empowerment Project for one year. That means:
- $234 supports 2 children for a year
- $58.50 supports a child for 6 months
- $29.25 supports a child for 3 months
Children like Yela have nowhere else to go. Without your help right now, many of them are destined to grow up on the streets. Your gift today will give a child like Yela a fighting chance to break the cycle of poverty and addiction she was born into.
With your help, we’ll meet and easily surpass our goal of helping Yela and 170 children like her.
As you step out in faith to help, may God bless you for your generosity and compassionate heart.