By Monalisa Michielin, Ecuador Portfolio Advisor
In June this year, I visited Ecuador to monitor the impact that World Vision and Child Sponsorship is having in our field projects. As with every field monitoring visit I go on, I always make sure I walk along the streets to meet the people directly involved in the transformation of our projects.
During my visit to the Vuelta Larga sponsorship project, I had the chance to meet Isabel while walking through the community.
Isabel is a single mum of five children who survived domestic violence in her past.
World Vision Ecuador had the opportunity to reach out and invited her to attend a few workshops in protection, economic development and leadership. Isabel also had the opportunity to see a counsellor and was the focal point of a quick transformation in terms of participation resilience and her willingness to learn new skills. Her story touched me, because she was quick to begin supporting other parents to join the workshops and engaging with the schools and partners.
She told me she never had the opportunity to finish school and became pregnant at an early age.
Isabel had gone through so much, but still kept an incredible smile.
I heard Isabel’s story during the community presentation that morning before my walk to the streets of the community. Isabel gave a speech on how this project changed her life, I then decided to walk and started talking to her and she invited me to visit her house.
Vuelta Larga is an Afro Ecuatorian region, with lots of African influence. It is also near the border with Colombia, where there are a large concentration of refugees crossing the border, creating drug trafficking, unemployment, violence in the streets, domestic violence, alcohol and drug consumption and many other social issues.
As I sat with Isabel, she started telling me how World Vision had impacted her life.