School for the disabled "Melvin Jones"
This school and treatment center for 162 children and young people is located in the periphery of the coastal town of Salinas. It was built mainly with donations from Germany. The main goal of this school is to promote the individual skills of the disabled people in order to cope with life in their families and to learn possibly even simple jobs. There is a hairdressing salon, they teach sewing by hand and with machines and polishing of Tagua, also called vegetable ivory. Their biggest supporter was until three years ago the German association "Guayas-Ecuador Hilfe e. V." which no longer seems to be active. In any case, they no longer support the school and we did not manage to make contact with the association. The financial support of the school by the government, according to the Headmistress, falls far below cost, especially since the payments come very irregular and the application is linked with excessive bureaucracy. The parents and other sponsors must pay for the children’s treatment.
In the past 3 years, the THOMAS ENGEL-Foundation has assumed the costs for the successful treatment of the hearing impaired boy, Josué Reyes Andres Gonzales. He visits the facility two afternoons per week and is now in the position to follow the lectures, to some extent, in the “Las Minas” school. At the end of 2012, we paid an invoice for only U.S. $ 181.00 for the months of March to November 2012. We have decided to help the "Melvin Jones" school starting in 2013 with at least $ 2000.00 annually because we consider the school absolutely worth funding.
Recently we were asked by the director of the school to finance a pool for hydrotherapy. She thinks such a facility is very helpful and important, especially to improve motor skills of the physically disabled. Since the cost amounted to about $ 20,000 we had to postpone the project because of our large involvement in Swaziland.