Last week, MEDLIFE inaugurated our 100th community development project: a sanitary restroom for a preschool in San Sebastian de Wayrayaku, Muyuna, Tena, Ecuador. The school is a Centro Infantil de Buen Vivir (CIBV), part of a national program aiming to improve conditions in the country by caring for children under the age of 5 living in extreme poverty. At centers like this one, located mostly in poor rural regions, children are provided with meals, recreation and full-day care from teachers trained in child development.
In communities where many parents are working during the day or have emigrated to cities in search of better opportunities, many families are unable to afford the nutrition and sanitation young children need, and these new centers provide a vital service. Unfortunately, many don’t yet have the necessary resources and infrastructure.
Together with local authorities, MEDLIFE selected the center in San Sebastian de Wayrayaku, which means “wind of the water,” as the site for our 100th project. The existing toilet was not enough for 42 children ages 1-5 and the four teachers in the center. MEDLIFE volunteers and community members constructed a new bathroom with two toilets, a urinal, sink and shower so that the children could wash if they need to. The parents worked through the night to get the project done so as not to miss work during the day.
On Friday, the completed bathroom was inaugurated with representatives of the provincial government, parents, teachers and MEDLIFE volunteers. The children and teachers sang and danced to traditional music from the region, and shared their customs with the student volunteers.
“It feels great to have completed project 100. It shows us that we can really help, we can make dreams come true, we can make hundreds of people happier and that we have to continue fighting for them,” said MEDLIFE Director of Ecuador Martha Chicaiza. “Every project, no matter how small, matters because it helps someone who really needs it.”