The province of Chimborazo in central Ecuador as well as the Amazon region are home to large numbers of indigenous communities who suffer from some of the highest rates of poverty in the country. These communities have limited access to education, clean water, economic opportunities, health care services and the resources needed to maintain a nutritious food supply. Children often have to walk for hours to reach the nearest school and many parents keep their children at home to help with household chores. More than a quarter of Ecuador’s population suffers from chronic malnutrition, and more than half of Ecuador’s indigenous population lives in poverty.
WE Charity has been building schools in Chimborazo since 1999. In 2008, we realized these communities needed more than schools to thrive and we introduced the Free The Children’s WE Villages model. Most recently, we expanded programming into the Amazon region.
We believe that children in indigenous communities should be able to access high-quality schooling close to home. By providing Ecuador’s rural communities with education, clean water, health programming and alternative forms of income, these communities are empowered to transform their lives.