Social Projects

In this section I would like to document a couple of projects I am working on while I am volunteering:

- Casa Hogar de Jesus in Ecuador -
I have been volunteering in a orphanage for kids from August to November 2011 - and what an experience this was! The kids are, albeit hard experiences in the past, full of happiness and hungry for life. It is hard to believe that we in "the western world" sometimes have such a hard time to enjoy our lives - although the circumstance we grow up in are mainly very fortunate compared to those kids. The orphanage Casa Hogar de Jesus is located in the Ecuadorian City Santo Domingo, which by itself is not the prettiest city in the country though a true Ecuadorian Experience.
The orphanage has between 60-80 boys and is run by its director Teresita who worked 5 years in Germany during which she build up strong bonds and thats how I found this opportunity. The level of professionalism Teresita runs this place is impressive! The boys age is between 5 to 18 years. Teresita set-up the orphanage so that it is supported by the local roman-catholic diocese as well as by the Ecuadorian state - which together cover the running costs of the orphanage like water, electricity, food but also pay everybodies salary which enables the orphanage to employee not just regular staff to keep the orphanage running but also 2 psychologists (who take care of the kids mental health as well as their families), 2 social workers (who work with local families to prevent them having to bring their kids to the orphanage in the first place as well as work to reunite the kids with their families - during the time I was in Ecuador 6 boys got reunited with their families), a lawyer (who ensures the kids legal rights) and 1 educator per 10 children (who live with the kids 24/7 and ensure a proper upbringing).
The main focus for raising the children hereby is mainly on

- Ensuring they graduate from school (Personal dignity through education and work)
- Educate the kids so they are able to support themselves once they are grown up
- Provide them with perspective in life through Christian values

Every change around the orphanage or for local families is either financed by Casa Hogars own self-sufficient projects (e.g. the children are responsible to breed chicken and sell them, a street-food-sale where the children sell their own baked bread or sales from art work they do with reycled materials - for example christmas cards) or by donations which mainly come from Germany. As all running costs are covered Casa Hogar de Jesus can ensure that donations are used to 100% to improve the boys or local families situation.
If the boys are between 5 and 15 they are fully catered for in the orphanage but with turning 16 they will get into a new environment - still in the orphanage - but they have to begin to cook and wash themselves, work in the afternoons after school at local car-dealerships as well as are responsible for their own budgets, which will prepare them for the life after the orphanage (basically when they turn 18).
More details you can find on

Arriving in Ecuador I was responsible to support the Educators in their day-life with the children, teaching English in a local High-School in the mornings and building a webpage as well as update presentation- and flyer-material. All together a experience geared towards my qualification but still enough time to spend loads of time with the kids. While working there, I was able to realize some small projects with my families and friends support:

1: My brothers family and my neighbors back home (Family Haller) financed the refurbishment of all bathrooms in Casa Hogar de Jesus. Basically all the houses where the kids live in have a big bathroom with urinals and showers which were disfunctional. Which made the houses at hot days smell like urin and showering for the kids kinda difficult. With the money given from my brothers family and Hallers we now have closed up the urinals (not needed anymore) and refurbished the showers of 6 houses. A big Thank you for that !!

Project 2:
Maria and Hans who have been giving money before so we could afford more cutlery have given more to provide a family in need with a roof for their home. The family lives with 5 kids in a little "Casa" with one room of 15 sqm - the roof itself was made out of plastic foil and in a country where you got heavy rain seasons that is a hard circumstance. So we were able to put up a proper roof on the house as well as double the families living space and with a bit of more money the family will be able to put up a second room.

3: A big Thank you to Shamim who donated money so we can provide a local family with 4 kids with a running water connection. Means as of now the family has to carry water to shower, cook, drink and flush the toilet from a relatives house to their own. By connecting the house to running water, the family will have a whole other level of living comfort. This will take a bit longer and therefore I dont have pictures for this project yet as we are dependend on the local water-department to set everything up. (two of the enclosed kids are kids of the family who will be getting the water connection!!)

4: is finally finished and our homepage is online (check it out and let me know if you find any bugs). Markus has provided the server-space to host the webpage gratis - which is normally a running cost and helps Casa Hogar to avoid to spend unnecessary costs.
Project 5: Thanks to Richard and his football foundation we will receive new footballs over the next weeks. Casa Hogar de Jesus started another project to be able to finance themselves: a football/soccer school - so our kids and kids from outside the orphanage can receive proper training (which does not exist in Ecuador other than for the big clubs). We were overwhelmed by the receiption of offering the training and are now short on such simple things like footballs. Richard and his foundation are happily supporting us in that afford and will provide some footballs.

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