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This old quotation turns out to be especially true in our project in Mindo, Ecuador these days. The Corona pandemic has forced us to close our children`s and youth centre. Public life was completely shut down and many people lived and still live in great fear of the virus. The quite good education of the health authorities doesn`t reach the population and there is little leadership from politics.
Our SALEM-team considered what we could do instead of our normal work to support the community members in other ways. Our children and adolescents are now looked after from a distance, by phone, WhatsApp and occasional home visits. Three months ago, we started to set up a food-aid (more on this here) that has so far taken care of around 400 needy families.
But we have more plans for the future. On the one hand we would like to provide more information on hygiene and health issues for the population. In this regard we still can achieve a lot with the children and youth that we care for. Ignorance is the main reason for panic. As one of the first steps in this field we initiated, together with the Mindo health department, a Facebook page where we share information about Corona. (https://www.facebook.com/MINDO-Informa-107463000982618/?__tn__=HHH-R).
On the other hand we also want to ensure that our district becomes more independent in terms of food supply. The pandemic has shown that rural areas are often cut off from supply chains. In addition, prices in cities have risen enormously. Thus, it would be reasonable to rely more on self-suffiency.
This brings us straight to the next goal: that is to strenghten the community. Especially in times of crisis, it is important to know our neighbours and support each other. To start with we would like to set up a community garden, where everyone interested can grow own vegetables and fruits on parcels of land. That way we hope to improve solidarity and be better prepared for future challenges.
If you like to support our work in SALEM-Ecuador, we would be thankful for every donation!
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