DCF Activities December 2020
DCF friends, great that you are here!
2020 is almost behind us. A year in which imagined certainties were called into question; things that were important are suddenly no longer important. Worldwide, people have become more and more aware of the need to think about each other. In Ecuador, almost 40% of the population currently lives in poverty. Half of them in extreme poverty. In some parts of Quito the red flags are displayed, a way to indicate that there is not enough food in the family.
We are approaching Christmas 2020, a meaningful and special period in which hope, faith and love are central. An important message that we, as a foundation want to share throughout the whole year with children, young people and families who temporarily need a helping hand, by simply being there for each other, until our paths part again.
In this newsletter we want to share with you a “Christmas story” from Ecuador. A lifelike experience of one of the young people who temporarily “crossed our path”.
My name is Jadira (this is not her real name). I am 17 years old. I left my city in Venezuela when I was 15 years old along with my 20-year-old friend Alan. I emigrated because my mother is ill and I need to help her pay for the medicines. There is hardly any food, no medical care and my family is hungry. We need many things to be healthy. This gave me the idea to leave my country and help our family regardless of my age.
I remember the day when I said goodbye to my mother and my brothers. My mother gave me the blessing and hugged me very tightly, so hard it almost took my breath away. We left with a backpack each, our legs, some clothes and the little food my mother had. We had thought on the way to ask for money and go to Brazil, where my friend's parents were waiting for us to work and live with them so I could send money to my family. But nothing turned out as we thought. The days of walking and asking for money were long, we had no place to sleep, we went through cold and rain and sometimes I lost all hope of a good arrival.
To get to Brazil we had to cross several borders. They had told us there were “red” zones, where we had to be careful, especially if we crossed via an irregular path. At one of the borders, they stole everything we had, backpacks and the little we had asked for on the street. This affected us enormously, we even thought about going home, but we had been on the road for 25 days and we were closer to our dream.
One day I started to have a strange feeling in my stomach and I was nauseous all the time. My friend said to me, "Are you not pregnant?". This idea scared me so much because I had nothing to give my child, not even a warm place to live. From what we asked on the street, we got the money to buy a test, which confirmed that I was pregnant. At that time we lived under a bridge in a rather cold city. We had built a house with cardboard and blankets that people had donated to us. And I kept holding that stabbing pain in my stomach. The cold got worse and we decided to continue the journey to a warmer place. It was then that I met some guys who told us there was a foundation that could help us. I didn't believe anything they said. I felt worse and worse, I hardly ate because I felt bad. I could feel the cold penetrating my bones.
One evening we met a woman from a foundation in a very dangerous place in Quito. We arrived with the disassembled packages from our cabin, and some things that people had donated to us. She asked how I was doing. It was the first time someone asked us how we were doing; I started to cry and hugged her. She took us to a hotel, bought us some warm food and told us to rest and that she would come and visit us the next day. That night I slept what I had not slept in all those months. The next day she suggested we participate in a temporary program with other youth. She told me that if I wanted to, I could go to the doctor to see how my baby was doing and how I was doing.
At first, we were suspicious because we didn't know what it would be like ... but we had no better option and I had to see the doctor. When I entered the house they welcomed us as if they had known us for a lifetime, I felt a warmth that encouraged me, the confidence to stay as long as I needed to. I was doing medical tests, I was two and a half months pregnant and the doctor gave me some treatments for pain and nausea, I was almost dehydrated. We felt at home at the foundation, they helped us get to our destination in Brazil, they supported us, listened to us, and a part of my heart will always be with them and the beautiful work they do.
Jadira is one of the young people who took part in our program “Casa de Paso”. In this program we work with unaccompanied adolescents, to figure out what they need. Many of them can be united with their families. Others might enter our program of “accompanied independent living”. Besides, we actively work with children and their families to prevent them from being separated from their families.
Corona crisis Nepal and Ecuador: in both countries the families are looking for ways to survive and are doing their utmost to make the best of it. In recent months, additional financial support has been sent to Nepal to help the families there with nutrition and sanitary care. Chooda, Rajan and Chhabi are currently busy with the return to school after a long period of absence. Meanwhile 90% of the children have “normal” lessons at school again. How special in these uncertain times! Thanks to your support and that of Wilde Ganzen, all children are provided with uniforms, books and other school materials. Reason for a lot of gratitude! Finally, we thank you for your continuous heartwarming commitment! We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed 2021. Warm greetings,
Alex, Barbara, Nicoline and Helma - Daniëlle Children's Fund
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