Newsletter December 2014
Welcome to the Christmas newsletter, which keeps you up to date with everything that has been going on lately in the Martin Chambers Ecuador Trust charity. As well as looking back over recent months, the newsletter invites you to look forward and see how life will be changed for the people of Nueva Prosperina as the school has a new classroom built and the soup kitchen continues to feed 150 of the poorest children each day.
Sponsor a Child’s Education
Spotlight on Alexander Ulises Vidal
Reflections from Jamie Maxwell
What’s Happening at Sagrada Familia School
The Soup Kitchen
Spotlight on Alexander Ulises Vidal
Alexander (in the photo in page 2) is a 7 year old P2 pupil at Sagrada Familia. He is the youngest of eight children, five of whom study at the school. All 8 children live with their mother, Gisella, in a traditional bamboo hut that is probably about the size of one of our large garage sheds. Each time I am in Guayaquil, I visit the Vidal family. I am always amazed how their economic situation never seems to improve. The reason for that is Gisella was widowed some years ago and has never been able to hold down a stable job because she is always busy keeping the house together for her eight children. Two years ago, Alexander was operated on for ‘hole in his heart’. Of course, Gisella had to beg and borrow amongst her family members to raise the necessary funds for the operation. Thankfully the operation was a success and Alexander was able to return to school and to his friends. The only work Gisella has been able to find recently has been taking in washing from her neighbours. This brings in only enough to buy food for daily living. Gisella does not have enough money to set aside for the future. Of course, this situation of living form day to day is replicated throughout a shanty town like Nueva Prosperina and it will take generations before Alexander and the Gisella family are able to plan for their future.
I asked Alexander what he likes about Sagrada FAmilia School and he replied: I feel at home here. The Head Teacher, Adela, is like a second mother to me and my brothers and Sisters. She and my Mum are so good to me – I want to work hard each day so that I can help them make Sagrada Familia the best school ever.
What’s Happening at Sagrada Familia School?
Presently there are 550 pupils at Sagrada Familia with 250 pupils in the primary school and 200 in the secondary school. Although the school continues to be a vibrant place to learn and a safe place to educate your children, the last year has seen many changes in the school, in particular with many familiar teachers leaving to find employment elsewhere – teachers like Freddy and his sister, Yesenia.
It was a sad moment to see teachers who have given so much to our school leaving for pastures new, but they had been given teaching promotions and the offer of better salary, which would give their families a better chance in life. We owe a great debt of gratitude to all the teachers in Sagrada Familia who time and again view their work there not simply as a job but rather as a vocation to help and support disadvantaged children and families. Gracias amigos!
Looking to the future, the new classroom to be built soon will allow the secondary school to offer more courses to the pupils who are preparing for national exams. Two years ago a classroom was built at the far end of the school complex; there had always been the idea that a second floor could be built in the future, but the money was not available at the time. Now the Ecuador Trust has raised enough money to build the extra classroom, which will allow the senior pupils to fulfill their courses, their dreams and build a better future through their education. Let’s continue to support Sagrada Familia!
Read the full December 2014 Newsletter here: