Kindergarten „Unión y Progreso“
This child care facility is located in the slums Enrique Gallo in the greater Salinas area and until 2011 about 70 children between the age of a few months and up to 5 years were taken care in a one room bamboo hut. The minor payment of the 8 employees was carried out by the community. From the state, i.e. by the Instituto Nacional del Nino y de la Familia, they received a grant for the food of the kindergarten. The financial contribution to be made by the parents was 1 US-dollar per month. The poverty in this area is so large, that some parents were overwhelmed even with this small fee and could not make the payment. In the period from January to July 2010 the THOMAS ENGEL-Foundation paid for more stable cribs and beds with mattresses and bed linens and the children could finally stop sleeping on the hard and rough concrete floor. We had the beds and cribs made by a local carpenter and that in return helped him as well.
In view of the catastrophic structural condition it did not make any sense to continue to support the child care facility, especially since the parents and care givers became more and more frustrated. Jaime Garcia, the competent representative of the THOMAS ENGEL-Foundation, contacted the city authorities and the state oil company, Petrol Ecuador, to draw attention to the unacceptable situation and to obtain a new building for the kindergarten. To what extent Jaime’s efforts were successful is unclear, but the oil company, the largest employer in the region, has built a new kindergarten. Thus, the preconditions for further assistance by the THOMAS ENGEL-Foundation has significantly improved. However, there are contradictions to the ownership and Jaime Garcia is trying to clarify this.