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An Ecuadoran village prepares to graduate from ChildFund

In the Ecuadoran province of Cotopaxi, residents of Santa Rosa de Patutan are excited to be graduating from ChildFund in 2013. “If ChildFund leaves tomorrow, nothing bad will happen because the community is empowered. The organizational structure is strengthened and is working along with the government,” says Nestor Moya, a representative of the community`s water and sanitation board.

ChildFund has been in this area of Ecuador since 1984. Nestor remembers that “before ChildFund, the houses were made of straw; there was only one school, no water and no electricity in the community.” Now the village has these services, and there are schools and parks for the children. “ChildFund is the only NGO that has provided unconditional support to the community without asking for anything in return. Everything is for the well-being of the children,” Nestor says.

“This is truly a moment to celebrate,” says Nicole Duciaume, regional sponsorship coordinator for ChildFund Americas. “This community is self-reliant, self-sufficient and able to care for the well-being of its children for this and future generations. Our work here is done; sponsorship transformed this community.”

Currently, parents are organized into six associations, which form the Federation of Community Development of Cotopaxi (FEDECOX). The federation has been officially organized since October 2005 and is ChildFund`s main strategic partner in this region of Ecuador. Through FEDECOX, ChildFund has installed a water and sanitation system, and the citizens` usage fees are returned to the community.

ChildFund`s approach is to empower communities, so they can be independent and self-sustaining while creating the environments children need to thrive.

Nestor is optimistic that the community will continue to grow with everything it has learned. He says, “ChildFund has set a good example and taught us to administer the money transparently.”

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