Written by Carol Fouke-Mpoyo
Residents of Sua, Ecuador, had already suffered damage to their homes and the loss of household furnishings and livestock to 4-foot-deep flooding in January when the April 2016 magnitude 7.8 earthquake added another layer of destruction.
The back-to-back disasters greatly diminished coastal Sua's fishing and tourism industries, the community's economic base. Many people left Sua because of the devastation, and some families that remained are still sleeping outside due to continuing aftershocks.
With support from UCC Disaster Ministries, 33 Sua families will soon have access to flexible financing and training to help them resume their livelihoods.
Global Ministries partner FEDICE ("Faith Speaks") has established "Plan Generating Hope - Sua," which also will ensure secure nourishment by funding a community kitchen to feed 103 children.
United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries' One Great Hour of Sharing and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Week of Compassion are providing $6,640 toward a total project budget of $16,640, all of which - thanks to the two denominations - has now been raised.
"This is a wonderful, specific opportunity to collaborate in support of our sisters and brothers in Ecuador, even as it seems the attention of most of the world has moved on," said UCC Disaster Ministries Executive Zach Wolgemuth.
Wolgemuth added, "The UCC and Disciples also continue to seek funding for our joint appeal goal of $500,000 to support recovery and reconstruction work in Ecuador."
FEDICE reported that the people of Sua "want to keep on doing their normal activities, but they have lost everything. They don´t ask for handouts, they simply need a hand up in order to keep on working and getting ahead."
Plan Generating Hope - Sua includes:
1) Reactivation of the economy with the creation of a savings and credit union which can give flexible financing (productive microcredit) to 33 families ($9,900).
2) Secure nourishment to support the financing of a community kitchen that feeds 103 children ($2,500 to equip the kitchen and purchase food).
3) Human talent, training for the 33 families in agricultural, administration, accounting, organization and gender themes ($4,240 for training, follow-up and evaluation)..
FEDICE will carry the work out together with Missionary Living Hope Church of Sua and its organization of 33 families in Nuevo Porvenir, Sua, Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador.
Pictured above: A FEDICE-sponsored credit and savings union; FEDICE work and life skills training.