Empowering Children in Gulahuayco
We’re happy to announce that the first girls’ club in Gulahuayco is up and running!
In Ecuador, girls’ clubs are part of Free The Children’s alternative income programming. The clubs empower girls to become leaders in their communities through a variety of workshops and training sessions. Girls also learn how to become economically independent, participating in activities such as breeding and caring for guinea pigs, which can be sold at local markets. The club will be a great resource for the young girls of Gulahuayco!
Free The Children is also having a huge impact on other community members. Twelve-year-old Edison, like many children in rural Ecuador, comes from a large family – he has seven brothers and sisters! It can be a challenge for families to send all of their children to school. But thanks to your support of Free The Children’s education projects in Gulahuayco, all eight children in Edison’s family have been able to attend school.
“Education is really important because in this life we can be something, do something,” says Edison. “Before, our parents didn’t have the chance to study, so they didn’t know how to earn money or many other things. It was really hard for them. Now we can learn more and be more, and this will help our families as well.”
Edison especially loves attending Free The Children’s school in his community. The school is bright, clean and feels safe for students – an environment much more conducive to learning than the school in the community prior to Free The Children’s arrival.
Edison also has big plans for his future. He’s currently in Grade 7 and hopes to continue on to high school, following in the footsteps of his two older brothers. In large families like Edison’s, it can be a challenge to send every child to school. Tuition fees are a barrier, not to mention the cost of transportation, since most high schools are far from communities. Edison hopes that one day Gulahuayco will have its own high school, so children in the community can more readily pursue higher education. And Edison knows exactly what he’ll do if he gets the chance to continue his studies.
“I would like to be a policeman in the future, because they do a lot of good things and the uniform looks good!” says Edison. “There are no police in my community. I will be the first one, and I can take care of my community.”
To learn more about Free The Children’s work in Ecuador, visit www.freethechildren.com/ecuador
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