DCF Activities July 2022
Bijgewerkt op: 11 aug.
Dear DCF friends,
Thank you very much for taking the time to read our newsletter. These are uncertain times. Time and time again we have to reflect on the consequences that this uncertainty brings. Yet, uncertainty is something we can learn from, draw strength from and use to inspire each other.
IMPACT OF SOCIAL UNREST ON CHILDREN WORLDWIDE Earlier this year, Russia invaded Ukraine. This war has a major impact worldwide and causes social unrest on various levels. Since the second half of 2021, energy prices in the world have soared. The free movement of agricultural products and foodstuffs is hampered, threatening major food shortages in developing countries. Worldwide, the focus of humanitarian aid is now increasingly on Ukraine. This has direct consequences for the children and families in Ecuador, as the international support previously received has now been diverted to other destinations. Likewise, the price-increases of products was also felt in Ecuador. In addition, there are very big challenges such as the discrimination against the local indigenous population and the infiltration of the drug cartels in society and politics. Violent demonstrations broke out in June. It started as a protest by the Indigenous community against rising fuel prices and living costs, but it quickly grew into a massive national protest with a lot of violence, especially in Quito. Major roads in the region were blocked and the situation became increasingly grim and violent. Due to the blockades, there were fears of food shortages. The schools soon closed because the situation on the streets became too dangerous for the children. "The protest is expanding, but what is most frightening is the polarization between two groups: the indigenous population against (...), the middle class and the elites. Or the rural population against the townspeople. The hatred on both sides is terrifying. The indigenous people are armed with sticks, the elite with golf sticks and weapons. They have the means to arm themselves, but the Indígenas are so much more numerous." -Magaly Rodriguez García, Historica KU Leuven-
On June 18, President Guillermo Lasso declared a state of emergency for the states of Pichincha, meaning he was given more powers to, for example, call in the army and impose an evening curfew. As a result, the protest related activists were dealt with harshly by the military.
IMPACT ON THE OPERATION OF DCF The dangerous situation made it more difficult to guide and support families. Online meetings were organized. However, this is not ideal and more difficult work. Efforts were made to bring food to the most disadvantaged families. As a result of the demonstration, many children were also injured by the violence. This caused a shift in the demand for help and brought up other priorities such as basic care. It was also more difficult to work in Casa de Paso, since for example they did not have electricity for several days and the facilitators could not leave. They were locked up in the house for 2 weeks. The more remote location also made it more difficult to get sufficient nutrition there.
The manifestations had a major impact on many families and made their living situation more difficult. Inequality and poverty continue to surface. Fortunately, at the beginning of July, calm returned and the DCF employees were able to resume work normally.
THANK YOU FROM THE JUDGE OF AMBATO Pablo joined DCF when he was only 11 years old in 2015 as a result of a request from a juvenile court judge in the city of Ambato. When Pablo was 9 years old, he experienced a terrible event that prompted the authorities to send him to a children's home. Here the boy stayed for two years, without seeing any of his family. His mother was held responsible for the event. After two difficult years for Pablo in the children’s home, the judge contacted DCF to analyze the little boy's situation. He risked losing his family for good and being put up for adoption. It was concluded that Pablo had a family and a mother who were eagerly awaiting his return and that the boy had a strong desire to leave the children’s home and return to his mother, his family and his community.
DCF was working with foster families at the time. The judge, Pablo and his mother accepted the idea and the search for a family was started. DCF found a warm family that wanted to welcome Pablo and offer temporary protection and care. This family came "as a gift from heaven" as it was very well suited to Pablo's needs and the temporary nature of the care was evident. The foster family changed Pablo's and his mother's lives and her own. Pablo also changed the life of the family. The learning came and went, it was a 2 year journey, full of joys, sorrows, stagnations, successes, growth and sometimes despair, but that's the way life can be.
While Pablo enjoyed his foster family, his mother was accompanied by the DCF team, looking to improve her situation. The process was not easy, but the love of the mother ensured that she never abandoned her son, despite everything. In 2018, with all the information from the 2 years of the trial and how successful everything had been, the judge decided to return Pablo to his mother, after 4 years since he left home. DCF guided them for the next 4 years. During this time, however, there were many ups and downs, intermittent processes of adjustment, as they had already been separated for four years. On June 20, 2022, Pablo turned 18 and he celebrated with great emotion, it was not just coming of age, but also the end of the complex cycle of being part of the child protection system. Pablo thanked his mother and life for giving him the opportunity to be with his family, in his country, and with his people. Now he is about to finish high school, with several dreams ahead of him. DCF prepared the final report and sent it to the judge and informed her by telephone of what had happened. The judge said with great joy: "Pablo's situation has been one of the most important of my career and a gamble on uncertainty, which has had a happy ending and has really restored the rights of this now young man". She thanked DCF for the beautiful work that was done.
MUTUAL LEARNING PROGRAM Several organizations, including DCF, have developed a mutual learning program, which went live in June. Mutual Learning believes in connecting caregivers around the world to inspire each other and mutually transform into quality family and community centered care. They facilitate collaboration, dialogue and exchange of experience with an international community, through a digital platform and 6-month learning programme.
Mutual Learning will start their pilot program in September! Are you interested in participating? Feel free to come to the information meetings on 8 August. Visit www.mutuallearningprogram.org for more information or send an email to email@example.com .
THANK YOU Bas and Maaike got married in June, it was a very beautiful day, with a few drops of rain here and there, but dry at the right times. Maaike is the sister of Dineke, who did an internship in Ecuador in 2016-2017. Maaike and Dineke thought together that it would be very nice to donate the collection to DCF. Dineke explained this and the collection was transferred to DCF. Bas and Maaike thank you very much for this loving gift.
We also thank all others involved who very frequently provide a fixed contribution. Thanks again and again for your heartwarming involvement in whatever form this may be! Warm greetings, Alex, Barbara, Nicoline and Helma - Daniëlle Children's Fund
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