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Overcoming a Childhood Injury, Yolanda Is Succeeding in Life

Home > Learn More > Stories & News > Overcoming a Childhood Injury, Yolanda Is Succeeding in Life
By ChildFund Ecuador staff
Posted on 8/3/2016

In Ecuador’s Cotopaxi Province, wood stoves are everywhere. People cook their food in them and heat their homes during cold weather. But these stoves also present danger to children: smoke exposure, respiratory diseases and even burns.

Ten-year-old Yolanda writes a letter to her sponsor. She lost her hands after suffering burns in a house fire, but she has learned to write.

When Yolanda was 2 years old, the unthinkable happened. A fire started at night in her kitchen, and soon, her house’s straw roof was aflame. She got out with her parents, Alonso and Luzmila, but Yolanda suffered burns all over her body and lost her hands.

As she recovered from her injuries, Yolanda’s parents worried that their daughter would be teased or not be able to participate in school, so they didn’t enroll her.

Yolanda (third from left) has made friends in her Ecuador village — both human and canine.

But our local partner organization’s staff members heard Yolanda’s story, and with the cooperation of others in the community, they offered support and guidance to her family, who decided to let Yolanda enroll in school. That was six years ago, and now 10-year-old Yolanda is a friendly, playful girl who enjoys school. She has friends, and her teacher says, “Yolanda has earned the affection of the whole school. Her classmates are aware of what she needs. She is very active and agile and loves physical education. She has become a motivation for her peers, teachers and everyone who knows her.”

Through ChildFund, Yolanda has a sponsor who often sends letters to her. At first, Yolanda’s brother Hector wrote letters for her, but now Yolanda is able to write and draw. With each letter, she shows improvement.

Her mother, Luzmila, is thankful to ChildFund and our local partner for encouraging her to send Yolanda to school. “Thanks to the organization, my daughter has a normal life.”