My trip to Ecuador is hard to put in words and harder to put in images. Neither seem to capture the total experience. I went there with a group of 14 photographers and 3 non-photographers as part of an initiative to provide funds, images and support to the children we met.
“What kind of support did the kids need most and how could we provide it?”, was what I wondered upon entering each of 8 locations. Getting to know the directors and witnessing their systems and their struggles laid the foundation for where we as group would put our funds and also the limited time we had to share of ourselves.
In some places there were lack of beds…we are having bunk beds built. In another place the mattresses were old, smelly and falling apart. We bought 28 new mattresses and sheets. Other needs we discovered were that the kids would eat in shifts because there were not enough cups or plates for each kid so we bought those. Larger ticket items are a new refridegerator, dryer and stove for which we are looking at what we can do. One place needed a new sewage system built. Another place wanted to send one of their girls to a beauty school so she can have a career. Support staff are crucial so we are trying to extend the stay of one of the volunteers. At one place we bought food for the next few months yet discussions are being had about helping them start a garden as well as raise animals for not only milk, eggs, and meat but the sheer experience of being part of one’s own sustenance. The needs they had were short-term and long-term and we looked at what we could do on both fronts. As you can see some of these endeavors are on-going. Holding babies and playing games with the kids were other ways we were able to give of ourselves. and more so receive so much joy from them.
It was an incredible gift be part of this project and to be around such an amazing group of compassionate, creative and giving people from my group, from the orphanages and from OSSO (Orphanage Support Services Organization)
Thanks to all of you that donated before my trip and thanks to all of you that will donate to my next trip planned for this year. A new link to where to donate will be posted soon.
For many more photos…go to my facebook page.