It was a busy summer in Shuid, Ecuador! We’re happy to announce that construction on two new classrooms is complete, and they’ve been in use since the beginning of the school year.
Free The Children worked with the local Ecuadorian government every step of the way as these classrooms came together. As part of Free The Children’s sustainable development model, we partner with local governments, helping them to take ownership of community projects. The new classrooms in Shuid were planned after the government saw a need for additional class space. Prior to the addition, two grades at the school had to use the community church for their classes. Now, Shuid’s school has eight classrooms, enough for each grade to have their own room on the school property. Thanks to this increased school capacity, even more children in Shuid now have access to a quality education, giving them the tools to help lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
One student who is benefitting from the education projects in Shuid is 12-year-old Jose Miguel Guaraca. When asked what he likes most about school, Jose says “I like it all – studying and playing!” Jose enjoys playing sports with his friends – especially soccer. He also has big plans for his future.
“I want to be a doctor in my community – we don’t have one, so I could be the first one,” says Jose. “I like to take care of people. I take care of my little sister when she is sick, so I think I would be a good doctor.”
Jose is in grade seven, and hopes to continue on to high school. “I want to learn more about everything, especially computers and language,” he says.
When asked what else he wishes for the future, Jose says, “I would also like to see bathrooms for the whole community since most people don’t have any.”
It seems that at least some of Jose’s hopes will soon be realized, with a plan for more projects in Shuid to begin in 2013. New projects in the community will focus on clean water, sanitation and health and will include a school kitchen, bathrooms and a water project. These initiatives will improve cleanliness of the school and the students’ hygiene, making for a healthier school community with less risk of illness. Shuid residents are so excited about these new projects, and Free The Children can’t wait to work with the community on these projects, made possible thanks to your continued support.
To learn more about Free The Children’s work in Ecuador, visit www.freethechildren.com/ecuador.