CHANGES ARE COMING
IN THE BEGINNING
The guiding concept of Fundación NÙR, that "for someone to receive HELP they must agree to receive EDUCATION", began to take shape in 2014, on the outskirts of a small village in the rural area of Chuquipata, Cañar. A very humble population, full of needs, where no more than 50 families live. (Read more)
Patty and I had just moved to Ecuador, we knew we wanted to do something transcendent for the rest of our lives, to help those who needed it most, but we didn’t know how. We rented a house in the middle of a forest, on the side of a mountain, every morning, very early, we climbed as high as possible, forcing our lungs to adapt to the altitude, looking for inspiration from Above and putting our brains and hearts to work in search of the right path of service we wanted to follow.
The beauty of the landscape hypnotized us. It invited us to relax and wait. Without knowing exactly what. We came down exhausted and sat down to wait.
First it was the dogs, one, two, five, up to eight dogs would show up every day to receive affection, sit at the door, spend the day with us, and at night return to their homes.
Then, one day when we were baking bread, a boy appeared, hiding behind a tree, watching slyly, probably attracted by the scent.
The next day he came closer. We invited him in, and we shared bread and listened to his stories. His mother had died, he barely remembered her, and he had an alcoholic father who locked him in the house in the mornings. He would escape through a watering hole, spend the day wandering and be back before his father returned. He went to school from time to time, neither the father nor the school demanded anything of him. At 10 years old he could not read, and the teacher had convinced him, literally, that he was ¨shunsho¨ (stupid), and that he would never learn.
We invited him to come over the next day to teach him how to make cookies. He came with a friend.
We started slyly giving him some intelligence tests. NO, he was not dumb. It all came down to lack of affection and attention.
In less than a month we had about 30 kids visiting us. They came to do homework, to chat, to cook, to learn about human values (coloring and singing), to have a different time, in a safe place where they received attention, affection and education.
The first child already knew how to write all the letters and numbers, and was beginning to be able to form words.
By that time we already knew what our destiny was. They taught us.
WHERE WE ARE TODAY
Ten years have passed between the beginning and today, many children and families have passed. We have positively impacted and reached the hearts of countless people, not only delivering social aid, but also enlightening their lives with knowledge and hope. (Read more)
The pandemic arrived and forced us to reinvent the foundation, to leave the rural work, to close ourselves to protect our health but without abandoning any family, to start with online activities and not only give support and education but to think very seriously about how to feed the 25 families we had at that time, which soon grew to 70.
And we did.
We learned how to ask for help, first from acquaintances and then from good will people that we had never seen before, we had to learn to tell each other’s stories and needs, and to look for someone in the world who could help us to get off the ground. We grew, we grew a lot.
Two crazy idealists became dozens around the planet, who in one way or another achieved small miracles on the smallest budget imaginable.
This year we have lived what could be called unplanned post pandemic situations: while a gigantic economic crisis impoverished the population day by day, violence gained the streets, and at the same time many non-profit organizations emerged, and today our beautiful Cuenca has become overpopulated with Foundations specialized in marketing, as a result of that today many needy people “go shopping”, choosing one or another foundation where they can receive some kind of welfarism without any commitment on their part.
This is not what we do, and it is not what we want to do.
So, we believe it is time to go back to the rural areas, where the presence of aid organizations is almost non-existent, and the needs of children and their families are not met. We can never be satisfied with handing out one, or a thousand, bags of food without getting to know the person, without listening to their needs and looking for ways to solve them, without having a personal, human, hopeful contact with each one and giving them the opportunity to grow.
WHAT'S COMING UP NEXT
That is why today we remember our origins, we remember those innocent children who approached us attracted by the aroma of freshly baked bread, and ended up acquiring skills and values they never had before. And we want to go back to that. (Read more)
To come back with much more experience, with a support team behind us, with all of you, the indispensable ones who have supported us all these years.
We, Patty and Jorge, are no longer alone, we feel the love and support of dozens of people from all over the world, those who give and those who receive help.
We also feel that many of the people who receive help here, today, have already understood how the “wheel of solidarity” works: giving and receiving.
They can also help us at this stage, and so, with everyone, with everyone’s help, we want to go back, step by step, to the rural populations. Where poverty and abandonment is greater than ever.
It will be a time of transition, of not neglecting the children and mothers of Cuenca, of closing cycles, and at the same time incorporating the community we chose to begin this journey, El Salado, in Santa Ana, only an hour away from the city.
BASIC GUIDELINES PROJECT 2024
We will maintain activities with the current groups and incorporate new ones from rural areas.
1- In the city of Cuenca, after evaluation of the active beneficiaries, the current activities with children and mothers, workshops, classes, solidarity closet and food support will continue.
2- In the town of El Salado, the activities will be similar, but with some important approaches according to the following:
- In El Salado, we will provide mothers with positive parenting workshops and conduct educational play activities for the children.
“According to UNICEF data, 870,000 children grow up in Ecuador under threats and physical punishment.”
- In El Salado, we are going to conduct nutrition and conscious eating classes.
- We will teach the community to build slow sand filters to obtain pure and clean water for consumption in each home. This action is also accompanied by educational processes to contribute to human welfare and improve basic living conditions in this community.
“Three out of 10 children are at risk of fatal diseases due to the consumption of contaminated water, and one out of 2 children has chronic malnutrition, one of the causes is that they do not have access to safe water.”
“According to the National Survey of Family Relations and Gender Violence against Women (INEC 2019), 43 out of every 100 women experienced some type of violence by their partner during their lifetime. The most recurrent form of gender-based violence is psychological violence with 53.9%.”
- In El Salado, there will be workshops on motivational strategies to address, overcome and prevent violence against women.
“The NDP (United Nations Development Program, in a June 2023 report, states that 1 in 4 people see it as justifiable for a man to beat his partner.”
“In the first nine months of 2023, 238 women were murdered for gender reasons in Ecuador, according to figures collected by the Feminist Alliance for the Mapping of Femicides in Ecuador until September 25 of this year.”
WOULD YOU LIKE TO JOIN US?
We have a big challenge ahead of us, we are perfecting the logistics, and we are talking to all those who are going to accompany us.
We have set a deadline of six months to work on the first stage, on Santa Ana, so that we can make a thorough evaluation before starting the second rural cycle.
We know that there are many aspects that will need individual budgets and funding (e.g. manufacture and delivery of water filters) but we already have the operational cost for the following: