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In Ecuador, a family sees a bright future

13-year-old Paul and 11-year-old Robinson are two intelligent and happy brothers from rural Ecuador. Together, they have already gone through many hardships in their young lives but still have a great deal of hope and enthusiasm for the future.

Sadly, the boys` mother died from health problems when they were very young, so they live with their grandparents, Martha and Victor. The family live in a small village about 15 minutes from San Gabriel town in northern Ecuador.

In this largely agricultural area, most locals work as labourers on potato, bean or corn plantations and earn an average salary of $10 a day. Martha, 73, divides her days between farm work and caring for the boys and her husband. The family raises guinea pigs and chickens for additional income.

Paul and Robinson are enrolled in ChildFund`s Aflatoun and Aflateen community clubs, which offer children and youth educational workshops about saving money, spending responsibly and their rights. In 2013-14 alone, almost 43,000 children in Ecuador participated in after-school activities supported by ChildFund.

Martha also attends family workshops that have helped her understand the importance of school and extracurricular activities like sports and cultural events.

Then things improved again for the family when three years ago, Paul received a sponsor, whose support has been very important to the family.

“I feel very grateful that they support my little ones without having met them,” Martha says. “I always ask God to give the sponsors his holy blessings and to always take care of them, wherever they may be.”

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