A LITTLE ABOUT ME
Hello all! I am thrilled to share with you that this April I will be heading to Ecuador for 2 weeks to volunteer in two community development projects in the capital city of Quito! I have felt a calling to volunteer abroad for the last few years, and now, as I will be taking a break from my usual heavy course-load to prepare to begin nursing school in the Fall, the stars have aligned to make some room for this trip! As well, I'm turning 40 at the end of April and couldn't imagine a more proper way to celebrate the life I've been so fortunate to live than to pay it forward to those who haven't been given nearly as much.
WHAT I WANT TO DO AND HOW I WILL DO IT
Ecuador has a population of 15.74 million. Of those, five million live in poverty, and a substantial number of citizens are only slightly above the poverty line. The country’s social and political challenges are daunting, to say the least: there is widespread illiteracy and a high rate of juvenile delinquency.
The first week of my volunteer trip, I will be contributing to a range of initiatives that will assist the local community. I won't know exactly what areas I'll be needed in until I get there and see what the current moment demands, but some possible projects are: helping to prepare meals for underprivileged school children; maintaining community gardens; and maintaining, cleaning and renovating local schools, community centers, and playgrounds. One special offering I am working with the volunteer organization on delivering is assistance with workshops on topics dear to my heart: women's empowerment, non-violence, and public health.
Week 2, I'll be helping out with the Street Children project. For many Ecuadorian children, school is never an option. The children I'll be working with spend 365 days a year working in the streets and markets, selling goods, and performing with their parents to help provide for their families. These children usually have a traumatic past, marred with experiences like living with drug addict parents or on the streets, often enduring abuse, violence and mental torture. The purpose of this project is to provide children working on the streets in Quito with the opportunity to receive education, as well as some enjoyment in their lives.
WHY HELPING ME IS SOMETHING YOU CAN FEEL GOOD ABOUT
Many of you who know me know I have a bleeding heart and strong desire to make a difference for those whose life circumstances limit their access to a full and healthy life. And those same people probably know that my entry-level wage as a nursing assistant doesn't come close to affording me the liberty to just go off on humanitarian missions as I please-- this is why I need you. About 3 years ago, as I reached a turning point in my life and was figuring out what to do next, I came to the realization that a huge bite of my own personal fruit of life is made up of: (1) serving others- particularly in the areas of health and wellbeing, and (2) traveling beyond my home country to places where deep poverty and infringements to human rights lie, where I could put my service boots on the same ground with those in need. As such, I am currently working my way towards becoming an RN, with the end goal of applying my skills and compassionate heart to global humanitarian efforts, whether as a paid or unpaid arrangement. This volunteer opportunity is the first door I will step through along my journey towards achieving my dream of making an impact!
WHAT YOUR DONATION WILL DO
Your donation, no matter how big or small, will help make this trip possible. The money I raise will go towards program fees, airfare and transportation, vaccinations, and travel insurance. Any extra money will go towards purchasing supplies to bring to the children and assisting with any other local projects. (If you cannot donate money I will gladly accept any and all physical donations such as clothes, school supplies, books, etc. to bring with me to Ecuador).
***YOU MAY ALSO DONATE VIA CASHAPP ($DonnaFranco) OR VENMO (@donnamite11) TO SAVE ME THE FEES*** ;-*
Thank YOU for taking the time to view my fundraising page! I hope you will consider donating. :)