We are glad to have you back! In this summer edition, we will be talking about our community project in Pifo, Quito. In Pifo we are working on creating a safe place for children together with the local population. Ecuador is currently ranked first for the transport of drugs globally and as a consequence, the power of the drug cartels is visible not only in politics but also in everyday life. There is a lot of violence and a lack of community solidarity, largely affecting children, young people and their families.
As a result, our new community project is very necessary, but also presents a huge challenge. In this newsletter, we will tell you more about the first steps that have already been taken towards the project. We also introduce you to Gloria who now lives in Ecuador with her husband and children and has built a different life with the help of DCF. You will also hear more about workshops we have done with women from an Indigenous community in Guamote, a small village in the Andes.
Community project against violence
At the end of June, we found a nice place to start our community house. It is close to the centre of Pifo and therefore easy to reach. The doors are now wide open. There is a kitchen with an oven. Several women from the community came by to make empanadas (Ecuadorian dumplings) together. This was an opportunity to get to know each other better. One of them indicated that the conversations, while cooking and baking, had given her a sense of relief. Just a listening ear was all she needed.
In the coming months, our goal is simply to create relationships, to get to know each other, so that a foundation is created on which we can build together. It's all exciting because it goes against classical thinking, where professionals take the lead and devise plans. Instead, our role is to weave relationships, networks, listen and above all have conversations, so that people can articulate what they need and want and consequently formulate what they can and cannot do together.
There is now a small growing network, in which the church of Pifo plays an important role. In addition, we have had several conversations with the local community leaders (representatives of the different neighborhoods) and many events are organised where people simply come together to talk about topics that are important to them.
A summer camp for children was organised with the young people of the community during the holidays. One of them says,“Honestly, I really enjoyed this holiday because we learned how to deal with our emotions. And personally, I thought it was super cool, super fun. I haven't felt this happy in a long time. I love helping children and I wouldn't want what I went through to happen to them too. Kids have incredible creativity and big dreams they want to achieve.”
The holiday camp ended with a “GOOD CHAOS”, a closing activity that challenged each team to work together, get messy and most of all have a lot of fun!
BE PART of the community project
Do you want more children in Ecuador to be able to play safely at home and on the street, go to school and just grow up? Let us know and/or donate to our account (see details at the bottom of this newsletter). There's a lot to do! And only together, an infinity of things is possible!
Gloria comes from one of the neighboring countries of Ecuador, she was kidnapped and had to flee the violence. When she first moved, her husband could not come with her. Gloria says: “I felt myself sinking into a deep loneliness. I remember selling garbage bags and sweets at the traffic light, together with my children. Suddenly I felt a severe pain in my head and when I got home half of my face was paralyzed. I couldn't move my hand properly. We had no food and I was afraid the landlord would evict us. I didn't want to send my kids to school without food.”
In my desperation, I told another woman that I was sick. She told me about DCF. They visited us, I could open my heart and tell my story. I remember clearly what they said to me: "You are not alone". They wanted to know how we were doing, helped me to get my children back to school, and got support. But most of all, they believed in me!
Now I have my own business and I sell cakes, desserts and cookies. My life has changed and I feel a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
One of Gloria's favorite recipes is a dessert she has named “Without borders”. The ingredients are chocolate from Ecuador, coffee from Colombia and coconut from Venezuela.
Attached the recipe - Ingredients for 6 people - 1 litre of milk - 1 can of condensed milk - 2 tablespoons of instant coffee - 2 tablespoons of chocolate powder - 2 tablespoons of coconut - 100 grams of cornstarch - 100 grams of sugar - 1 teaspoon vanilla extract - 1 cinnamon stick - 3 pans - 6 Glasses
1. Mix one cup of milk with the cornflour.
2. Heat the rest of the milk in a saucepan over medium heat. When the milk is hot, divide it over 3 pans. Divide the diluted cornstarch over the three pans.
3. We start with the first pan. Keep the pan over medium heat and add the shredded coconut and condensed milk, stirring constantly so that the mixture does not stick or burn. After about 4 minutes, the mixture will begin to have a creamy consistency. Remove from heat and divide among glasses. Put them in the fridge for a while so they can firm up.
4. In the second pan with the milk and cornflour, add coffee and vanilla essence. Also, add sugar to taste. Heat over medium heat, stirring continuously until it gets a creamy consistency. Add the mixture to the glasses. Put them back in the fridge.
5. Finally, add the chocolate powder, cinnamon and sugar to taste in the third pan. Stir until the mixture becomes homogeneous and has a creamy consistency. Add the chocolate mixture as the last layer to the glasses. Put them back in the fridge.
6. We then leave the glasses ready in the refrigerator for an hour and a half. Just before use, decorate with mint leaves.
Buen provecho – Enjoy your treat!
Indigenous community in Guamote
Inti Sisa is a hotel in Guamote, which is located in the middle of the Andes Mountains. On top of being a guesthouse where tourists come from all over the world, it is also a great community project. The community and the hotel have succeeded in creating a tourism project that is able to support children with their schoolwork. The project also supports an agricultural school, a kindergarten, social and financial education courses and also hosts workshops on sexuality. The DCF team was asked to provide workshops for a few days. This was an inspiring beautiful experience where we learned a lot together.
As always, we would like to thank everyone who is involved with us in any way!
Alex, Nicoline, Helma and Barbara - Daniëlle Children’s Fund
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How to support the work of DCF?
Do you want to give colour and light to the lives of people within the community project in Pifo, feel free to (or continue to) support our work. Thank you very much!
With your contribution, you help us enormously to make this important work possible and continue.
You can help us with a payment via:
Daniëlle Children’s Fund