This is Domenica, a child who was so anemic and weak that she could not go out to play with her friends, or even attend school. Her mother always thought that cooking in a healthy way was expensive, and all they could afford was a lot of junk food. They both went to a community center run by Children International, and were enrolled in the nutrition Program. Domenica had a full checkup and evaluation, and her mother was enrolled in nutrition workshops and cooking classes. Now, their meals include plenty of vegetables, fruit, and proteins. After a month, Domenica went back for a checkup and was happy to hear that she had gained weight, and her anemia problem had gone away. She felt good enough to attend school, and her mental skills have improved and so have her grades! There are hundreds of sponsored children like Domenica who have benefited from the Nutrition Program at Children International community centers in Quito.
The Collette Foundation has officially launched our first Global Flagship Project. The purpose of launching a flagship program is to make a deeper impact in one place through concentrated effort, funding and closer work with our international partner leading to lasting, sustainable change. As we add to our worldwide global footprint that has been established with legacy programs in places like Peru and Africa, Ecuador joins the roster as our new flagship destination for 2015! In partnership with the nonprofit Children International we are so excited to work to end malnutrition in Ecuador, one the leading causes of disease in children.
Over 27% of Ecuador’s population lives below the poverty line. Nearly 12% of this population is overweight, obese and malnourished children who live in and around Quito. Children International does inspiring work, building community centers to help those in need and offering Nutritional Rehabilitation Programs that target undernourished children ages 2-11. Our hope is that through our partnership we can change the lives of these children for the better – giving them a chance at a healthy, thriving future. Our work takes us to the Phelan-Emmett Community Center in the community of La Lucha, which, thanks to our support, can launch a nutritional clinic and comprehensive program that will impact the lives of so many children. Stay tuned for more on the story of Ecuador and its children. Later this year, the community center opens, and our work truly begins to take shape.
Great news! We have nearly finalized all details for our foundation project in Ecuador. While we are still at step 1, things look great for breaking ground on this project soon! We are working through the Resource Foundation based in New York City which will help facilitate providing the funds directly to the community.
The goal of this project is to fund a medical clinic at La Magdalena — a Karanki indigenous village on Cubilche volcano in Ibarra (Ecuadorian Andean highlands) to house a dental clinic, general practice, and waiting room area. Right now, the building is just an empty structure; it needs proper sanitation facilities set up.
We are currently waiting for the proposal from the local partner with details about how many people the clinic would reach and other specifics. One of our tourism partners in Ecuador and the Galapagos has sponsored this community-based tourism effort from the ground up, building homes, providing access to gas and hot water, building a community center and more. Now the community is ready to accept visits from tourists, for cultural interaction and exchange, even overnight homestays to see how the Karanki indigenous live and help support their village through tourism as a new source of income.
The goal is for the Collette Foundation to complement these efforts; to continue the development within the community and sponsor projects which will positively impact the lives of the residents and especially the children.