„Ecuador Licht und Schatten“ – a non-profit organization
More than 20 years ago, after a journey with Karl Oerder, a Salesian father, Ms Sissi Pöschl was confronted with the terrible misery of the poor in Ecuador and decided to found the association “Ecuador Licht und Schatten” (Ecuador Light and Shadow) together with other citizens from Landshut. From the beginning it has been the aim of the association to give young peopleof the poor Ecuadorian population a perspective for a future decent and humane life.
In the course of years help has been concentrated on 3 different places where poverty is perceptible and evident. We have absolutely trustworthy partners: organizations which guarantee the functioning and a system which secures the use of our money.
- Guyaquil (Ecuador's biggest city): There Father Marco Paredes is the head of the Salesian programme “Chicos de la Calle” (i.e. street children) whose aim it is to collect these street children and to ensure their social rehabilitation in a four-step programme. Almost every day Father Marco is out and about in the poor quarters of Guyaquil, where huts made of wood, metal sheets or plastic sacks are an everyday sight. Father Marco was shocked by the poverty, but he had an idea: Pupils who are especially active and diligent get help of sponsors to turn the ramshackle shelters into proper small houses of stone which they construct for their parents. Thus safe and nice little stone houses are built, the basis where a family can live together. This is a tremendous step towards the improvement of the quality of life. More than 200 houses in the city quarter Nigeria Isla Trinitaria in Guyaquil have been constructed in this way. The association “Ecuador Licht und Schatten” is glad to provide information as to where such sponsorships are needed.
- Quito: Many years ago Father Pio Beschirotto had the idea to build a kindergarten in the north of Quito. In the city quarter with the boastful name of La Vista on the northern hills of Calderon where the dust is tossed about by the wind, the huts of the poor stand between the sandy and dry hills. Although the place commands a wonderful view of the volcano Cayambe, life there is hard and dry. Father Pio had the idea to build a kindergarten for the children who vegetate in the huts. From the small size in the beginning the institution has developed into a model kindergarten in Calderon. Named after Laura Vicuna, a young saint highly revered in South America, it is today a house for more than a hundred children from 2 to 5 years who also get homework assistance there. Laughing faces of happy children show the importance of that institution in a district of extreme poverty.
- In the southern part of Quito many favelas and poor quarters are a result of the rural exodus. Here the foundation “Fundación Don Bosco” has built a house which is run under the name of “Casa Amigos de Don Bosco”, which offers young school children the possibility to lead a decent life and where they are taken care of in the morning or in the afternoon before or after school. That means that apart from homework support, meals and games, tutoring and psychological care, the children are taught fundamental social competences like living together, respect, tolerance, community responsibility and a sense of duty. In the “Casa Fundación Don Bosco” they live happily together, almost like in a large family, and get the support their families cannot provide.
All institutions are models for the effective help for the poorest in Ecuador and they can of course be visited. The association pays for all that thanks to the numerous donations collected by the association in Landshut and in Germany through different activities.
As a matter of course Ms Sissi Pöschl regularly travels to Ecuador in order to ensure spot that the money donated is efficiently made use of. So far the association has not had any administrative costs, since everything is done on a voluntary basis or is sponsored so that every Euro from donors is spent entirely for the benefit of the poor.
Landshut, Dezember 2016