Partnering For Hope
Foundation for Hope and Grace believes in encouraging passionate people to pursue their vision of hope for their communities.
This is the story of Foundation Restoration and the passionate people that had a vision for kids in Guayaquil. Kids that roamed the streets and were at are risk for abuse, hunger, trafficking and crime.
We hope you enjoy this story of hope.
When Foundation Restoration started, it's mission was to seek out the most needy families in the Mapasingue neighborhood of Guayaquil, Ecuador and assist the families by giving their kids lunch and helping with homework after school. Mapasingue is a very poor community with a high crime rate, drug problem and an abundance of children on the streets.
One of the children was named Anita. At 7 years old she had the appearance of a 5 year old because of malnutrition. Her mom worked hard to provide for the four kids at home but she also had to take care of her husband who is confined to a wheelchair. Anita's mom is also mentally handicapped and was limited to cleaning houses and washing clothes. This work gave her a monthly income of less than $100. When little Anita began coming to FR she would barely say a word. It was a struggle to get her to eat her lunch. At home she mostly only ate beans and rice, so we had to encourage her to expand her palate to other nutritious foods like chicken and meat.
A few months into the program Anita's 11 year old brother Stalin won an outing with my husband and I as a prize for good behavior. I would give the kids choices about where they would like to go on their outing, for example to the movies, out for ice cream, or to the park. Stalin chose ice cream, and very politely asked if his siblings could come with us. Of course I couldn't deny his request. We loaded the two girls and two boys into the taxi, and headed to the center of town.
It wasn't long before I realized that the kids had rarely, if ever, left their neighborhood. I specifically remember driving by a store where you could see the escalator through the front doors. All of the kids stared in awe as we drove by. We made sure to go back so they could all go up and down at least once. The rest of the outing was very memorable for me and I hope it was just as memorable for them. We ate our ice creams and walked to a big park nearby where the kids played for awhile before heading home.
I visited them in April of 2012. Anita, her sister Sandy, and brother Stalin continue to faithfully make their way down the big hill for lunch and homework help. Anita's hair had grown in much thicker than I had remembered, she had put on a few pounds and grown a couple of inches. As nice as it was to see that, what really stuck out was the big smile she flashed the whole time she was there laughing and playing with the other kids.
I want to thank those of you who pray for and financially support The Foundation for Hope and Grace. With help from many of you, Anita and her family are getting some of their most basic needs met. I know if Anita's mom had the chance to, she would want to say “Gracias!” with a big hug and kiss!
Ecuador Streetkid Outreach program