Ecuador, formerly known as the Republic of the Equator, has seen significant economic growth since oil was discovered there in the 1960s. Its growth has fluctuated however, due continued border disputes with neighbouring countries and internal political instability. There is a lack of financial investment from abroad, and widespread social unrest about the exploitation of Ecuador’s natural resources.
Poor indigenous Ecuadoreans benefited least from the financial boom of the ‘60s and ‘70s, and many feel disempowered and resentful of the Spanish political elite. A recent economic growth spurt almost cancelled out the devastating financial affects of the severe recession of 1999, but it did not undo the increase in poverty that also occurred. Approximately 40% of people live below the poverty line, which means surviving on less than $2 a day.
The people of Ecuador are in great need of the life-changing hope that child sponsorship can bring to their families and communities. You can sponsor a child in Ecuador through ActionAid , one of the world's leading relief and development agencies. They have developed a child sponsorship scheme which links people in more affluent countries with individual children in developing countries around the world.
In conjunction with partner organisations such as Ayuda en Acción, ActionAid works with communities in Ecuador to improve access to basic sanitation, health and education facilities. It has invested in the training of health workers and the provision of health services. It also invests in the improvement of education facilities, and it has championed the need for poor people to know their rights, and to come together to fight for them.
ActionAid supports micro-finance companies that make small loans and credit available to business start-ups. It also works with community organisations to ensure equitable management of Ecuador’s vast natural resources. At times of natural disaster, such as the floods and volcanic eruptions in 2002, ActionAid has been on hand to provide emergency relief.
In the 37 years since its inception, ActionAid has reached many millions people in Africa, Asia and the Americas, and it has developed a wealth of expertise in fighting poverty. The charity partners with local organisations and recognises the need to work with communities on their own terms, and not impose solutions. By getting to know the culture intimately ActionAid workers have the best possible opportunity to affect a lasting end to poverty.
Sponsoring a child in Ecuador  today will cost you only 50 pence per day. Your money will also go towards development efforts in the town in which the child you sponsor lives. This will ensure the most efficient and effective use of your money.
As a child sponsor you will be able arrange a personal visit with your child and to communicate with them. You can also look forward to receiving special letters and drawings, including a new photograph every two years. Additionally, you get to see where and how your money is being spent by keeping in touch with your child's local ActionAid office, and through regular editions of Common Cause, ActionAid's newsletter.
You may also like to consider sponsoring a child in Ecuador through the following trusted agencies: