Education is vital to breaking the cycle of poverty and achieving success. For children in Ecuador, this can be a challenge, but thanks to ChildFund's supporters, thousands of Ecuadorean children and youth have a chance at a brighter future.
In the early 1990s, the number of children enrolling in primary schools across Ecuador dropped sharply, according to data from the World Bank. Between 1994 and 2002, steady gains were made in primary school enrollment, but unfortunately, the next several years saw enrollment figures decline once again. After another drop between 2007 and 2009, many more children have been able to go to school.
A primary focus of ChildFund's work in Ecuador has been improving conditions in the country's schools. Since ChildFund began working in Ecuador in 1984, we have trained hundreds of teachers and helped them deliver a higher quality of instruction to their pupils. In addition, we have supplied many schools with essential materials and equipment to make classrooms more engaging for students. With the assistance of our local partners across the country, many Ecuadorean children now receive a much better standard of schooling, enabling them to acquire vital skills that will serve them well into adulthood.
Our initiatives are not limited to primary school children. In 2011, ChildFund Ecuador launched the Aflateen program in both Ecuador and Honduras. Aimed at youths between the ages of 14 and 24, this project aims to introduce teens to financial management concepts, enabling them to make more informed decisions about how to handle their money and spend it wisely. Aflateen is an expansion of Aflatoun, a popular program for children ages 7 to 13 that teaches them about money management and the child's rights.
As well as basic financial management, the Aflateen project also introduced Ecuadorean youth to concepts like interpersonal relationships, friendships and self-image. Even youths who could not attend sessions in person were able to listen to a regular radio broadcast. The program was so successful, the initiative has expanded this year.
Education is about more than just lessons in a classroom — it's about empowerment. The more children and youth know, the more likely they are to be able to use this knowledge to improve their lives. Although hundreds of children and teens have benefited from ChildFund's programs in recent years, many more still lack access to basic educational services. To invest in the future of Ecuador's children, please consider sponsoring a child today.