Editor’s Note: Each month, we mail an article with our contribution statements to the previous month’s donors. Click here to download a PDF version.

Written by Marie Lanier Narváez, Promotions and Marketing Coordinator

For 10 years, the church in Aida Leon, a neighborhood in the south of Quito, Ecuador, waited for SIFAT teams to come start an addition for their afterschool children’s program. They had little space in which to welcome these at-risk students to get them off the streets and in school, to help them with their schoolwork and to feed them nutritious, hot meal lunches.

They never imagined it would take 10 years to break ground to start building. Who could have imagined a president wanting to build a bunker and use imminent domain to take the land? How could it take so long to receive permits and clearance to build? But finally, everything was in place and our teams arrived in 2018 to support SIFAT graduate Pastor Wilson and his church. Our teams worked diligently when plans changed, and a basement needed to be dug! For two years, we served the people of Aida Leon, while enjoying beautiful views of the mountains. As we all remember, the world stopped in 2020 and so did construction in Aida Leon. At that time, we thought it might be a delay of a few months, maybe a year at most. However, we soon realized we would be paused indefinitely. That’s where you stepped in!

SIFAT Ecuador Director Dr. Roberto Contreras, international team coordinator Peggy Walker, Aida Leon leader Cecelia and I enjoy treats in the new kitchen — tostado y chicharrón.


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October 2021: Final Phase of Construction in Aida Leon

Editor’s Note: Each month, we mail an article with our contribution statements to the previous month’s donors. Click here to download a PDF version.

Written by Sarah Corson, SIFAT Co-founder

The long-awaited dream of having a safe place for the children of Aida Leon is about to become a reality. When SIFAT could no longer travel to Ecuador in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID pandemic, Esperanza Eterna’s Pastor Wilson realized that the church community center our SIFAT teams had been building for two years would be put on hold and not completed when the children of Aida Leon needed it the most. SIFAT donors  did not allow that to happen!

In the best of times, Aida Leon is one of the poorest communities in Quito. As in most marginalized barrios, the children suffer the most when the parents have no work, the schools are closed and even two meals a day is often a luxury. During this time of shutdown, many have been displaced from their homes, and child abuse increases drastically. The promise of a day care center for children, where they could be safe and have a hot meal, seemed a long way in the future.

The final phase of construction in Aida Leon has included pouring the roof, adding stairs, laying the exterior walls on the second floor and building the interior walls. This photo shows the progress as of September 2021.


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June 2020: SIFAT Doctor in Your House provides food and medical care

SIFAT Ecuador director Dr. Roberto Contreras uses video conferences to provide virtual home visits to patients in our projects who currently do not have access to medical care. SIFAT Doctor in your House provides free medications for these patients.

 

Editor’s Note: Each month, we mail an article with our contribution statements to the previous month’s donors. Click here to download a PDF version.

Written by Marie Lanier, Promotions and Marketing Coordinator

Because of COVID-19, our international mission teams were forced to cancel all trips for 2020. SIFAT Ecuador director Dr. Roberto Contreras approached us with a plan that would let our team members and supporters still serve the people with whom we work, even during this time when we cannot physically be there. This idea became SIFAT Doctor in your House, a two-part approach to provide basic needs—food and medicine. (Click here to learn more about SIFAT Doctor in your House or to donate to this program)

When they can find work, most people in these communities have part-time jobs that are considered informal by the government, which means they have no access to benefits or unemployment. In the best of times, they are just scraping by. When the government began taking extreme measures to protect its citizens from spreading coronavirus, these jobs were immediately lost. Until early June, a curfew started at 2 p.m., public transportation was shut down and those with cars were only allowed to drive one day each week. The only time anyone was allowed in public was to go to pharmacies or grocery stores. Hunger became very real in
the neighborhoods where our projects are located.


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