Newsletter Summer 2014
Welcome to the summer Newsletter which keeps you up to date with everything that has been going on lately in the Martin Chambers Ecuador Trust charity. This summer marks 10 years of our charitable link to the community of Nueva Prosperina and, in particular, to the people at Sagrada Familia School. To that end, this edition of restoring dignity is dedicated to the people of Guayaquil: to Adela Villacres who has led Sagrada Familia since the start; to Anny Ferrin and Miguel Angel Gonzalez Lino who have recently graduated from the school despite setbacks. These are people who have inspired us to realise that, in spite of various setbacks in life, it still can be a life of dignity and hope. They are our inspiration in charitable giving.
We also have two articles which highlight how people from Scotland continue to be inspired to travel to Ecuador and share the life of our poorest sisters and brothers.
Letter from Anny Ferrin
10 Years of Sagrada Familia
Spotlight on Miguel Angel Gonzalez Lino
Sagrada Familia most Recent Visitor
Talk on Life on the Missions
And finally… from Morgan McKenna
10 Years of Sagrada Familia
From Adela Villacres, Headteacher of Sagrada Familia from the start…
For me it has been a great pleasure to work at Sagrada Familia School from its beginning in 2003 and, since then, to offer a quality education that shows warmth towards the children and young people we serve. This beautiful project was the brainchild of Fr. Con Keily, a missionary priest of the St. James Society and, in the spring of 2003, we started with seven bamboo huts for classrooms and around 300 pupils. Since then we have continued to grow so that now we have around 550 pupils.
In 2004 we were blessed with the arrival of Fr. Martin Chambers who brought enthusiasm to our project and helped pupils and staff to realise they could have inner dignity even in the face of great poverty. The ECUADOR TRUST has been a great friend to us over the years and allowed us to offer quality education; when we only had bamboo huts, it wasn’t easy to be a teacher and I’m sure it wasn’t easy to be a pupil either. The Ecuador Trust has also helped us with EDUCATION GRANTS that has meant our school is open to the poorest within our own poor community; time and again, we have seen that the poorest people have, through your help, been given the chance to study at Sagrada Familia and dream that one day they could also get the qualifications they need for a better future.
A further project that has been running for ten years with the help of your Charity is the SOUP KITCHEN. In the early days of the school we realised that most of the children were coming to school without any breakfast and were returning home without the hope of a decent meal. We set up the Soup Kitchen and, for the last ten years, it has provided 120 of the poorest children with a nutritious meal each day – a cup of home-made fruit juice, a plate of soup and a bowl of rice. We get no other financial help for the Soup Kitchen and, if it wasn’t for the Ecuador Trust, it would have to shut down.
During these years, the bonds of friendship and solidarity between our two countries have been strengthened. Many of you have travelled to live with us here in Ecuador and, on two occasions, a group of young people has made the trip of a lifetime to spend ten days in Scotland. Together we have learned to appreciate and love one another’s culture and people. Therefore I want to take this opportunity to thank every one of you who has helped both economically and spiritually in these last ten years to build up the community of Sagrada Familia School – may God continue to bless you all.
“ECUADOR Y ESOCIA POR SIEMPRE AMIGOS”
And Finally… from Morgan McKenna
In October of last year, I was given the opportunity to visit Nueva Prosperina in Ecuador. After a long interview process, fundraising and a lot of anticipation, I couldn’t have been happier when I was told that I had been selected for the life changing trip. Whilst in Ecuador I had the pleasure of seeing at first-hand the difference the Trust makes both for Sagrada Familia School and for the locals. It got me thinking of all the ways I could help and I couldn’t wait to contribute in my own way to give back to such deserving people who had treated me with kindness.
I decided that a skydive from 10,000 feet with the Paragon Club in Perthshire would be a perfect way of proving to people how much my trip to South America had impacted on me. My friends and family were so supportive and my parents encouraged me in order to boost my confidence. On the day of the dive, I could feel my nerves rising and I began to question what I had let myself in for. Strangely though, when it was time for me to jump, all I could think about was how blessed I had been to meet my new friends in Ecuador. I took my leap of faith and the rush of wind on my face was exhilarating, I free fell from 10,000 feet at 135mph and, at 5,000 feet, the parachute was opened. I was then able to do my turns, spirals and tricks in the air. For the rest of the day I had a buzz about myself.
It will remain one of the best experiences I have ever had. In total now, I have raised £1,693 (excluding gift aid) for the Ecuador Trust and I cannot express how excited I am to see the money continue to improve the lives of people I love and care about. I will be eternally grateful to the people who have stood by me, supported or sponsored me.
Read the full Summer 2014 Newsletter here: