For some time now, our dream at Extreme Response has been to extend our vision to the women and children who are connected with the Quito City dump. Our daycare has been functioning since 2006, and all of the children that have gone through our program are now in public school. For the first few years our children were doing quite well, however as the work at school has gotten more difficult, they have started to fall behind. The parents of our students have a high illiteracy rate, and therefore cannot help their children with schoolwork.
At the end of the 2012-2013 school year, we identified 12 children who were in “crisis”–in danger of failing or dropping out. When we opened our Women’s Center, we intended to start an after school program for students where they could come and get homework help, tutoring and a hot meal. These children would otherwise be at home unsupervised or out on the streets until their parents got off of work around 6:00. The goal was to begin the tutoring program in 2014, however it soon became apparent that these twelve children could not wait that long.
In September of this year, with no school supplies and precious few resources, Teresa Jimenez began receiving these twelve children after school every day. They arrive about 12:30, receive a hot meal (schools here do not provide lunches for students), spend some time doing light chores (to provide a sense of “ownership” for the facility that they are using), play games and do homework. They are there until about 5:00 or so. Since we began the program, 15 more children have been brought to our attention as being in the same situation as the other students. They are on a waiting list at the moment as we try to muster our limited resources and figure out what to do. Our goal is to be able to hire someone full time who would come and cook lunch for the children and then be there in the afternoon to help them with their schoolwork and other activities.
This picture was taken last week. Teresa is to the left, kneeling down and her husband Jose is standing behind her. The big kid in the middle is my sweet hubby, and Jerry, our president is on the right.
If you would like to know more about the After School program, or the Quito Women’s Resource Center, or anything else that we do down here, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14