Second semester 2015 Reports

Photo: VDO

CHILD SPONSORSHIP-Taitakuna Programme
Report – 2st. Semester -2015 - by Maria Teresa Lopez - Ambato, January 5, 2016

1.1 Children: There were 17 sponsored children, 3 in Mocha and 14 in Techo Propio, a further 17 children, siblings of those sponsored, received nearly the same benefits. Seven other children who attended the Library and Andrew Finch Centre activities received partial benefits of the program. A total of 41 children were covered by the program.

1.2 Sponsors: There are a total of 15 sponsors, 12 sponsors the in UK, 9 in the group of Adrienne Finch and 3 former VDO volunteers plus two sponsors, former VDO volunteers, in the USA and one in Quito.

1.3 Meetings: There was a monthly meeting with the children and at least one of their parents, usually the mother. We are pleased that the group of Parents participating actively is growing.

1.4 Food & Clothing : .89 food parcels were distributed, these included rice, semolina, pasta, flour (bean, wheat & pea), oats, lentils and sardines. As there is constant inflation this grant has been vitally important to parents and they are very grateful. Thanks to the additional help from our sponsors for Christmas presents, it was possible in December to give additional products (kitchen oil, cocoa, biscuits and popcorn.) These products were chosen by the parents. 8 items of clothing (trousers, sweaters & jackets) were given to children and their siblings.

1.5 Education: 15 children studied in secondary school, 15 in primary, and 3 in kindergarten, one is studying at home to begin university in 2016. Most of the children are good students and the school year is going very well. We had a summer course with the focus on improving the spelling skills of secondary school students. The economic help in education was focused on the primary and kindergarten students. There has been a necessary increase of the use of Internet for the students to do their home work for which they have to use an internet café. This additional cost and transport is a big demand on the families, as the children cannot go alone to internet cafes and many live a long way away. Because the children do not have computer classes in primary school, searching take a lot of time for them. We helped them with these expenses.

1.6 Health: Two children with bad skin allergies continue treatment. A boy cut his eyelid, we helped with transport, medicines and surgery. A boy with possible heart problems had additional exams which fortunately were negative. Two children continue with orthodontic treatment. A boy (4 years old) with speech problems saw a psychologist. It seems he has not mental or physical problems, he just refuses to speak. We helped 13 sponsored children with a general exam required by the school

1.7 Correspondence: To avoid the increasing problems and costs of the post in Ecuador we are sending the correspondence from children to sponsors by email

1.9 Christmas celebration: Thanks so much to our sponsors for the additional help for Christmas which made it possible to give presents to the children and their siblings and additional food products . This year we gave the children a nice book, as most of them have acquired the habit of reading. Our sponsors can see the photos of the Christmas celebration on facebook, in a group called Taitakuna. We thank John Potts from the travel agency Happy Gringo in Quito for his help in the celebration of Christmas.

1.10 Expectations for the first semester 2016: This year we will have our first student at university, she was accepted in “Universidad Tecnica de Ambato” to study to be a social worker. At this moment she is studying for an exam in the last week of January, to evaluate if she needs a pre-university course (one semester) in the same university before beginning to study for her career. It is super to have such a role model. With the opening of our new library in Mocha, the parents wanted their children, most younger than 8 to learn a little English and basic computer skills, as they do not have these subjects at school. We will try to do something about this.

The economic situation in Ecuador is difficult as the government delays paying government workers; this affects the whole economy as these people cannot afford to shop. Last December I personally saw the huge drop of business in Ambato. Many parents have had problems, those who are traders cannot sell their goods, some of them are traveling to other cities. The help of our sponsors is essential at this time. The children, parents and ourselves are really grateful with all our supporters.

SUMMATION – SECOND SEMESTER 2015. January 4th 2016. Prepared by Gonzalo Alarcón

PART 1: Report of activities in the second semester 2015

1. General Overview
This has been a very good period, with normal activities in the Centre in Techo Propio and with the great news that we have opened a new centre in Mocha, close to the old school in El Porvenir. From July to December the Centre in Techo Propio was open without interruption every Saturdas and some other holidays. It continues as an important social, cultural and educational Centre for children.

1.2. Main activities at the Centre
The main activities were reading and borrowing of books and preparation of a drama based on the stories; watching of videos on the computers; very short courses on use of computers and English Language for children in primary school given by Gladys; board games and creative games; toys and play material for smaller siblings; one reading contest; extra activities were the dance group and preparation of performances for the Christmas party, with a good participation of parents.

1.3. Numbers and participation
6 new members joined the Library in Techo Propio. 3 members left so the new total of members is now 51. There was a very good attendance and participation.

1.4. Computers and equipment
One computer, photo camera and tripod were brought to the new Centre in Mocha. In Techo Propio we now have the following equipment in good condition: 3 computers; 1 projector; 1 printer with scanner; 1 DVD player. All other equipment for editing our own books and for the Library remain in good condition.

1.5. Books
We have bought 42 new books and some more magazines. There are now 1875 books in the Library.

1.6. Local volunteers
The Center continued with the coordination of Gladys, a local volunteer who is now waiting to start pre university courses in April. Special mention should be made of Mrs. Anita, Gladys’ mother, who accompanied her to the Centre in Techo Propio and so has a very good knowledge of library management Mrs. Anita will be a great help as volunteer now that we have the new Library in Mocha.

1.7. School fund
In secondary school we had a group of 11 students with very good attendance and participation in the Library, and seven of them received economic help to cover every day school expenses. The help was an average of $25 monthly, most used in daily expenses, camp days, photocopies. We will continue helping each one according to their necessities and participation. Parents are very grateful for the help.

1.8 School fund
We have had one reading contest for all the children of the Library organized by Gladys. We held the Christmas party on December 19th 2015 in the social room of the Cooperative in Techo Propio. Alison received the prize as the winner of the Christmas card contest with Luis Vinicio as the second. The Christmas party on Mocha was in December 20th with very good participation of children and parents.

1.9. Relationships
Our personal relationship with children, parents and other people in the communities continues to be very good. The Cooperative in Techo Propio is now finished. The house and all properties now belong to the community as a normal neighborhood of the City of Ambato. Nobody knows what will happen but it is normal to expect the formation of a community committee which will replace the directors of the Cooperative. We really don’t know what will happen with the Library and Centre locations.

1.10. The new house in Mocha
The house is located on the Panamerican road midway between El Porvenir and Mocha. It was abandoned and the owner agreed to be paid the rent corresponding to 2015 with the repairs of the house. Starting 2016 we will pay $80 monthly including energy and water. Parents are happy with the Library and with the possibility of having English and computer classes for the smaller children, although it has not been possible to find an English teacher. The majority of the children are less than 8 years old with young parents. Some of them were our original students who received the help of volunteers in El Porvenir de Mocha when we first started.

1.12. Objectives for the first Semester 2016
• To start activities in the new project in the house in Mocha on January 2nd.
• To complete the repairs of the house in Mocha.
• To prepare the Summer courses in Techo Propio.
• To have at least two small reading courses.
• To have the drawing contest for the Christmas card.
• To continue with the training of the dance group.
• To look for more local university volunteers for courses for children or to look for foreign volunteers who can help in exchange of an small stipend or accommodation.


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