Natural disaster, domestic violence and overcrowded health facilities endanger the people of Ecuador. Despite being an oil-producing country, Ecuador’s economic resources cannot surmount these threats. Twenty-two percent of all Ecuadorians live in poverty, particularly in non-urban areas, where approximately 42 percent of rural residents are poor. Below are three solutions to the question of how to help people in Ecuador:
- On April 16, 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the nation of Ecuador killing a reported 676 people and injuring 16,600. More than a year later, foreign aid is still needed to assist the country with this tragedy.The earthquake left 250,000 children and adolescents in need of relief. Many continue to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or are sick due to unsanitary conditions and lack of water or food. Hundreds of children are still living in shelters. Help is needed to rebuild structurally sound homes. Non-government agencies, such as SOS Children’s Villages, are supporting this process.
- Seventy-eight percent of Ecuadorian girls experience domestic violence. Roughly 69 percent of girls between the age of 10 and 15 are victims of sexual assault. Six out of 10 women in Ecuador suffer some form of sexual violence.The Fundacion Bolivar Education sponsors the Center for Women Struggling with Domestic Violence program in Quito, Ecuador. Volunteers are needed to assist psychology professionals with therapy. Additional help is needed performing administrative tasks to support the social workers and find sources of funding.
- While public healthcare is free in Ecuador, rural medical facilities are overcrowded. Volunteers are needed to assist medical personnel. Medical professionals who would like to know how to help the people in Ecuador should contact Volunteer Forever. Similarly, dental professionals can find volunteer placement through the American Dental Association website.
Additional information on how to help people in Ecuador is available on the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Ecuadorian Red Cross website. The IFRC touches 150 million lives and works through the generosity of 17 million volunteers.
– Heather J. Hopkins