International COVID-19 Grant

Support for Families in Ecuador

Support for Families in Ecuador
Aracely invests in a calf to pay tuition for law school.

Aracely, a young woman newly graduated from high school, lives alone with her mother and works their farm as a source of income; she uses her farm income to increase her few small funds. With new funds provided by the COVID-19 United Methodist Women relief grants, she has managed to buy a calf, which, in a few months, she will be able to sell and thus have funds for the costs of registration and studies for a law degree at the university.

Aracely was able to maintain her income and receive United Methodist Women funding for relief through the mission partner AMIEMUE, the Asociación de Mujeres de la Iglesia Evangélica Metodista Unida del Ecuador.

Through this partnership between AMIEMUE and United Methodist Women, the economic, health, psychological and spiritual needs of new United Methodist church women are addressed. 

Women are financially uplifted

The emergency grant undergirds 126 women who have seen their sources of family income weakened and who sought creative solutions to the economic crisis. The Ecuadorian women’s association distributed small amounts of capital to strengthen current or new entrepreneurs, like Aracely. 

In cities, the women developed businesses cooking and selling pastries and food or embroidering and making household items and protective gear. In rural areas, the women invested and improved agricultural production, raising farm animals, which were then sold for profits to support the feeding and studies of children and young people. 

During quarantine for COVID-19, many families and women had problems with other diseases and a lack of financial income for daily meals. So with this initiative, 30 women and families received emergency funds for health care, medicines or food. 

Couples join counseling program

Noticing the potential for domestic violence, between 20 and 55 participants joined in a program to strengthen healthy relationships. One strategy for family stability was to facilitate meetings wherein wife and husband could met with counselors to analyze their ways of relating to one another and to learn practical strategies to enrich their life as a family. In addition, the church trained pastors and church leaders in family accompaniment and counseling, focusing on understanding how crises impact the family and the importance of proper communication and forgiveness.

Fellowship is strengthened

Many Ecuadorian women do not have internet at home, so they gathered in the homes of family members or neighbors, using preventative measures, to participate in virtual meetings for spiritual and psycho-emotional nourishment. This provided a unique space for listening. Weekly, the women joined in listening circles for healing, a time to share and mutually uplift one another. 

This new fellowship and initiative with United Methodist Women is very important for Ecuadorian women, like Aracely, as they are members of a new church and a new organization. 

The connection has strengthened us as we carry out the love and light of Jesus Christ into the lives of our sisters in urban and rural Ecuadorian communities.

Sara Flores is the liaison for United Methodist Women’s emergency COVID-19 grants in Ecuador through AMIEMUE. 

Posted or updated: 10/2/2020 12:00:00 AM