In Ecuador, children are part of the forced labor structure in areas of agriculture, domestic servitude and most troubling is street begging. Recent reports indicate that many children begging on the street are controlled by organized crime rings.
Hope & Grace seeks to restore hope to childhood in Ecuador by working with Intersalud and others to prevent exploitation of these children. Every child has a story, and we're fighting for all of them.
Poverty is a breeding ground for vulnerability. Vulnerability is ripe for exploitation. In Ecuador, like much of the world, life on the street is a harsh reality that is complicated by the factors that fuel exploitation of children. Life on the streets is a daily reality for many children in Ecuador. The streets are a dangerous place where hope is thrown away like the trash in the gutter. The streets bring a life of abuse, crime and exploitation.
Many of these children are used as pawns in business built on others sympathy. The pandering and begging that we see is often funneling money to organized crime. The child is deprived of education, innocence and loses hope that a life with meaning beyond the passing stranger even exist.