Lena: From Home Alone to Hopeful & Confident

Lena (privacy name) is seven, charismatic, sociable, and very curious to learn how things in her environment work. Her family emigrated two years ago to Quito from another province in Ecuador in search of job opportunities.

Lena is an only child who has attended the Quito Dream Center for 18 months. We have seen lots of achievements in her life. Lena used to stay alone at home while her parents worked, which can be unhealthy for young children.

Because of her parent’s economic situation, Lena had to be responsible for things that did not correspond to her age, such as her food, transportation to and from school, and materials for her homework.

During her time at the Dream Center her state of mind has improved. She used to be sad and anguished. Today, she has hope and confidence God will provide. She is independent, humble, spontaneous and works hard in her studies.

Lena shares everything she learns, including Bible stories, with her parents and other relatives. Lena’s positive changes impressed her mother who now attends our Quito Women’s program.


Quito Dream Center Graduates Two Kids

Until recently, kids whose parents work in the Quito Trash Dump rarely made it through high school. Most drop out early to become recyclers themselves. This cycle is breaking and dreams are coming true. Thanks to your support, we celebrate the success of Cristina and Jesse.

By Robyn Wallace

Dec. 2021

The first day the Quito Dream Center opened its doors, Cristina* and Jesse* crossed the threshold as fourth graders in search of academic support. At the young age of nine, they already had more education than most of the adults in the Quito recycling community. That did not stop their dreams from forming and growing steadily. Both these young students not only discovered academic support at the Dream Center, they found a whole team of people rallying behind them to reach their first major dream – high school graduation.

Quito Dream Center KidsCristina’s Faith Abounds in the Face of Adversity

Cristina is the daughter of a recycler who faithfully attends our women’s program. Her father is a construction worker. Cristina’s parents defied the norms of the recycling culture by pushing Cristina to stay in school. Most children are pressured to drop out by middle school.

The task of completing her high school education was challenging among the financial and relational strains in her family. She witnessed her parents separate and come back together many times, frequently disheveling her life.

She learned weekly about God’s concern and care toward every aspect of her life. She pressed into Him and His love. Today, you can find her sharing the same truths with young children at the Bible club in her neighborhood thanks to her tutor’s example of evangelism.

Cristina’s outgoing and happy personality compliments her hopes of studying architectural design.

Jesse Overcomes the Heartache of Sisters’ Cancers

Quito Dream Center KidsJesse’s parents both work at the garbage transfer station, one as a recycler and the other as an operator. Throughout his young life, Jesse dealt with the common recycler’s struggle of extreme poverty, but he also suffered immense heartache.

A few years ago, his older teenage sister suddenly had her face begin to rot away. She had cancer and lost her eye as a result. Now his other teenage sister appears to have the same illness. The family awaits an official diagnosis.

The suffering of his sisters, living with the unknown, and the financial strain of their health issues have impacted Jesse greatly. Neither of his parents can read or write and are pressuring him to make quick money by becoming a recycler like them.

Yet, Jesse never let go of his own dreams and showed up day after day at the Dream Center. Introverted and a man of few words, Jesse set an example for the other students in perseverance and hard work. Jesse now hopes to pursue his next dream – a degree in industrial mechanics.

Both Cristina and Jesse were put to the test during their last two years in school. They were forced to learn online with limited internet access while enduring physical isolation from their Dream Center community. Their families’ financial situations became dire as recycling shifts were halted at times and cut in half at other times.

The pandemic threatened to strip away all they had worked hard for these past eight years. However, they never lost contact with their tutors who checked on them regularly and assisted them consistently using cell phone apps.

At the end of summer 2021, the Dream Center community reunited with full fanfare to celebrate the greatest accomplishment in Cristina’s and Jesse’s lives –  their high school graduations!

Congratulations Cristina and Jesse! May you never stop dreaming nor witnessing God’s steady hand in your life.

*The names of the children at our Dream Centers have been changed to protect their privacy.


Quito Dream Center Kids Get Crafty

Trying times call for creative solutions.

The COVID pandemic continues to make in-person learning an elusive target for children in Ecuador. Their schools are a mix of distance learning, unusual schedules and much confusion. In response, our Quito Dream Center staff members have ramped up the use of crafts and skills development to keep kids engaged.

The children we serve are from the Quito recycling community and struggle with generational poverty. They’ve made great strides in their educations in recent years thanks to our after-school programming, and we don’t want them to fall behind or lose ground!

Below are some recent images of the kids learning a range of new skills. We thank our staff for their creativity and all of our supporters for making all these activities possible.

Felix* and Jaylon* were sanding boxes that teacher Nieves brought in for the kids as craft time. They later painted them and took them home.

Emma*, the girl making the bracelet, asked her teacher Daniel if he would make a bracelet for her. Instead of saying “yes,” he brought in the materials and taught her how to do it.
Ryan*, the boy sewing, was helping his teacher Daniel to make some potholders. Daniel showed him the basics of working the sewing machine etc.
*The names of the children at our Dream Centers have been changed to protect their privacy.


Lovable Rogue Shocks with Turnaround

Fast Stat: 46 kids in the Quito After-School Program receive 7,500+ hot meals annually, providing valuable nutrition and energy to learn.

Miguel* is no newcomer to our Quito Dream Center. This 12-year-old has been with us for four years. He’s a lovable rogue, one of several we serve. Some days he drives us crazy with his challenging behavior. He has a tough-guy attitude. Sometimes he hits other kids, lies and talks back. He struggles academically. He lacks motivation. We love him regardless and keep heaping praise and encouragement upon him.

Like many of the kids whose parents work as recyclers in the Quito Dump, Miguel’s home life was a pressure cooker of poverty, alcohol abuse and low education. But…if he would just apply himself at school and our education reinforcement program, Miguel could have a future filled with opportunities.

Miguel completed sixth grade and a miracle happened. In the final two months of school – completely defying end-of-school-year-madness – Miguel pulled a 180 degree turn-around. He stepped up and dutifully completed all his homework, even to the point of calling one of his tutors when he needed help one night!

And he started demonstrating respect, patience and joyfulness. We’re in a little bit of shock. Yet we celebrate what God is doing in Miguel’s life and the sweet fruit we are seeing. His parents became Christians three years ago and their faith has revolutionized their family dynamic. The investment in Miguel is paying off and his future overflows with hope.

*Name changed for privacy


Nieves Inspires Students to Dream

Long-time teacher Nieves Nivelo is one of our foundation stones at the Quito Dream Center. She loves the kids and embraces training, two powerful attributes that have made her a high-impact educator. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Science Education and a certification as an Artisan Teacher. Nieves has two children, a 9th grade girl and 3rd grade boy, both who participate in the Dream Center. Below, she shares her commitment and compassion for the vulnerable kids we serve from the Quito Dump recycling community. (Photos taken pre-COVID-19.)

By Nieves Nivelo

It truly is a privilege to share the experiences I have had as a teacher in the area of educational training. In 2020, I’ve participated in the following training, much of it online:

  • KidStory with Kids Around the World training (how to tell a Bible story)
  • Methodology For Starting a Business (mentor for micro-business training)
  • Preparing Teachers for a Virtual World
  • Professionalism for Teachers Virtually
  • Cerebral Thinking (how kids’ brains work and how to capture their attention)

I participate in these training opportunities because a teacher should always be innovating and learning the latest ideas. Above all, I want to inspire students to dream. Every teacher should teach their students to dream, empower them and help them embrace their dreams so one day they will see those dreams fulfilled.

In recent months, I have participated in training to become a “virtual” teacher. With COVID-19, schools are using distance learning and I want to be ready to help the kids through this. Everything I learn is a blessing as I apply it with the kids.

I am most privileged to be a part of the family of Extreme Response and I thank God for the opportunity to work in the area of education. It is a marvelous thing to be a part of these kids’ lives and to help mold them into young adults who seek after the Kingdom of God.

I desire to continue training so I can be a blessing to others. There is still a lot to learn, but I always strive be a teacher who inspires, works with passion and loves the kids unconditionally, regardless of the obstacles.

ER’s Jessica Sanders says Nieves leads by example: “She is quiet, humble, an eager learner and is always thinking about the kids. She often goes the extra mile, spending one-on-one time with her students who struggle with reading and writing. I like to call her the next Martha Stewart, as she is very artistic and super creative. She assists in the Quito Women’s Life Skills & Livelihood Training by teaching the women  jewelry making, sewing and other crafts. Nieves also makes and sells jewelry of her own.”


Felix Learns to Read and Write

Quito KidsFelix*, age 7, is in second grade and is one of 45 vulnerable kids enrolled in the Quito Dream Center after-school program. When Felix started attending the Dream Center, he struggled relating to others, working independently and following instructions. He was unable to read and write in first grade.

Felix is part of the Quito Dump Recycling Community where ER has served families for many years. The community struggles with low education, addictions and generational poverty. Most children drop out of school to seek low-income work, sometimes sorting through the trash for recyclables alongside their parents.

Felix’s mother and father cannot read or write. However, both parents are super involved in our Women’s and Men’s Ministries, as well as Family Night. Felix’s dad works the night shift at the Quito Garbage Transfer Station. Felix also has an older brother, Ryan*, who attends the Dream Center morning program.

In school, Felix is frequently bullied. But here at the Dream Center he feels like he is at home. His Dream Center teacher, Nieves, spends many hours working one-on-one with Felix to improve his reading and writing ability. She motivates him by speaking words of inspiration.

Today, Felix can identify words and write short sentences. He’s even reading short books!

This life-changing progress is because Felix is receiving the educational support and encouragement at the Dream Center that his parents never did. This is a team effort. Felix’s mom continually seeks better things for him and talks to his teachers about the difficulties he faces.

Will Felix make it all the way to graduation and enjoy a fulfilling life? We believe so and will stand with him on his journey to a better life.

*Names changed to protect privacy

Here’s a quick snapshot of the investment and impact realized among vulnerable kids who are part of the Quito recycling community:

2019 Elementary Program Summary – Quito Dream Center

  • 209 hours of homework tutoring
  • 126 hours of workshops taught
  • 65 hours social skill training/community building workshops
  • 140 hours summer supervision, games, workshops, and fun
  • 10 hours of educational field trips
  • 24 hours with a learning specialist
  • ALL 29 advanced from the 2018-2019 school year!

A Rebel with a Future

By Robyn Wallace, Quito Dump Program

(April 30, 2019)

Emily* made some big decisions recently. One of our Quito Kids was under duress.

Emily first attended the Quito School After-School Support Program as an eight-year-old in 2013. We’ve watched her grow and mature. Today she is a 14-year-old participating in our newly renovated adolescent program. She has access to leadership training, mentoring, micro-business skills, a community of other teenagers and tutoring for her homework.

Like many youth, Emily discovered she had her own opinions and desire to live by her own rules. Quito Kids: Rebel Emily* Does turnaroundHer choices led to a two-week suspension.

As much as we love Emily and foresee a bright future, we know the next steps in life need to be chosen by her. After two weeks away, Emily was given the option to stay or to leave. The decision was totally up to her.

Emily chose to stay. She chose to re-engage. She chose to accept the opportunities before her. She chose a future and she is thriving!

Emily shared that she LOVED the first few days that she was on her own. She had no pressure, went where she wanted, did as she pleased. Rather quickly, she began to miss her community, her tutor’s support, and the opportunities our program provides her. She had some hard choices to make.

Emily chose to stay. She chose to re-engage. She chose to accept the opportunities before her. She chose a future and she is thriving!

Pray with us as we support the next generation through middle and high school in Quito. These youth are forging a new path in their families as most are the first to make it this far in school. ER is reaching out a hand to help, and we passionately want these kids to latch on. We’ll do this together!

*Name changed for privacy. Scroll below to read more about how the Quito Dump Program is helping kids like Emily.


Quito Kids: Sara Overcomes Adversity

By Robyn Wallace, Quito After-School Program

(March 21, 2019)


Quito KidsNow we can add “OVERCOMER” to describe nine-year-old *Sara at ER’s school support program in Quito, Ecuador. This past week, we passionately applauded Sara in recognition of her high performance at her school. Sara received a certificate for her achievement.

Sara comes from a family that has eked out a meager living for generations by recycling materials from the local garbage station. Her grandmother and mother have attended our women’s program since its conception in 2013. Sara joined our school support program in 2016.

Tragedy struck Sara’s family this year when her grandmother passed away from cancer, leaving her single mom to support herself and her two young daughters. Sadly, her mother’s fight with an extremely rare disease came to head last fall, preventing her from recycling and earning money. In fact, her illness is costing exorbitant amounts of money.

Sara is wading through some huge emotions this year as she grieves for her grandmother, worries for her mother and stares at an empty refrigerator more often than not. Her most recent report card in March tells the tale of a girl who is successfully overcoming immense challenges with excellent grades and even better behavior. With determination, day after day, Sara chooses to walk through the door of our school support program, embrace her community, and tackle her homework. Her community is embracing her back.

Sara’s classmates have completed several food drives taking food from their own limited supply so she and her family can eat. Sara’s family is part of the Quito Dump Recycling Community that ER has been serving for many years. Despite community members having so very little, they share money, time, food and many prayers on behalf of Sara’s family.

Creating a community is part of what we do at ER. Together, we celebrate overcomers like Sara.

Why it matters:

  • *Recognizing effort, positive attitude and resiliency reinforces work ethic
  • *Supporting children during hardship demonstrates compassion
  • *Sara represents the generation breaking the cycle of poverty

*Name changed for privacy.


Quito Kids: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

(June 28, 2018)

Extreme Response has been serving the recycling community in the Quito Dump (AKA Zambiza Garbage Transfer Station) since 1997. We’re excited by the impact we’re witnessing, especially in the next generation.

We’re seeing a huge change in self-esteem, educational achievement and entrepreneurialism. Positivity pulses through a community that was once hopeless, boosted mightily through the teamwork of donors, volunteers and dedicated staff.

Nothing is more painful than seeing malnourished, under-educated and hopeless children. While that was once the case, today our programs are populated by happy, hopeful and bright-eyed kids.

Yesterday: Kids who grew up in the Dump suffered from poor health and self-image and typically dropped out of school very early. 

Today: ER’s Children’s Programs have created an entirely new dynamic. Through nutrition, the kids’ weight, height and health has improved. Through ER’s After-School Program, they are earning praise from their teachers. Through mentoring, they are confident and eager regarding their futures.

Tomorrow: We see a day when every child in our programs has the opportunity to graduate, seek advanced education and qualifies for employment opportunities beyond recycling.

These children represent our biggest hope – the generation that breaks the cycle of poverty.

The realty of achieving this is within reach – but only if we complete the mission to which we’ve been called. To accomplish this, we need the help of new volunteers, short-term teams, staff and donors to join us.


Quito Kids: Leftovers Help Michael’s Family

Quito Kids: Michael helps feed his familyMichael is one of those kids you love to work with. The 11-year-old seventh grader is joyful, mature, and responsible. He likes to spend his time hugging the teachers and you will always find him with a smile on his face.

He lives with his mother, who is a recycler, and three siblings about 15 minutes away from the Quito Family Resource Center by bus. His father had another family, but tended to stop by Michael’s house in the evenings to visit his kids. He also helped with the rent and brought food for the whole family.

But when Michael’s father didn’t show up for a few days, the family started to worry. When a phone call was finally answered, it wasn’t answered by Michael’s father, but by a mortician. Michael’s father had fallen off the roof of his house and, unfortunately, had passed away.

While Michael is going through a difficult time, his spirit isn’t broken. He has been coming to the after-school program since 2013 and wants to study robotics and be an engineer. In the midst of struggle, Michael has hope.

Now we (ER staff, volunteers, donors) have another opportunity to help this family. Every day we have food left over from our after-school program, and every day we get to send that food home with Michael so that his family has something to eat. This is one way that Extreme Response is helping change the life – not just of one kid – but the lives of an entire family.


Quito Kid: Teenager Turnaround

By Robyn Wallace

Sorting trash for recycling has long been a meager source of income for residents at the Quito Dump. ER’s Quito After School Program is trying to break that cycle by improving kids’ chances to complete their education and, ultimately, earn a better living.

Michelle is one teenager who has benefitted from the program. Her mother approached Jose and Teresa Jimenez, the program’s directors, in early 2014 when she realized she could no longer adequately feed Michelle and her three other children. She was considering taking Michelle out of school so she could help recycle trash and help feed the family.

Michelle-3Michelle is 17 and her siblings are 14, 10 and 7.  Michelle first connected with ER as a young child when she attended a kids’ club at the Zambiza Garbage Transfer Station (previously the Quito Dump). Her grandmother continues to sort trash there. She and her 10-year-old brother were admitted to the After School program and now receive a hot, nutritious meal five days a week, as well as tutoring and homework support. Her 14- and 7-year-old siblings are still home with their mom.

Michelle is on track to graduate from high school next summer and hopes to receive a scholarship to the government university. There are several government universities here in Quito.  The government will review Michelle’s grades in March and decide is they will allow her to attend a university on scholarship. If granted, Michelle would start college in the fall of 2016.

To top it off, Michelle hopes to be our very first person in the Quito Dump Program to return with her degree to help with the children at the Family Resource Center.  The changes in her life all began because ER said “yes” to helping hungry children.

Education Is a Priority

ER began to focus on supporting children through education in September 2013 and we now serve 34 kids in the After School Program. Our goal is to break in cyclical pattern of not finishing elementary school and joining the family sifting through trash to earn their living. We want children to have options.

To get into the program, families approach our directors, Jose and Teresa Jimenez. They do a general interview with the family and follow up with a house visit and a socio-economic survey to evaluate each situation.

Finally, the Jose and Teresa conduct an interview with the child to determine if we should bring a child into our program. Currently, there is a waiting list.

Most of the children go to school half days in Ecuador.  After school, children arrive for a hot meal around 1 p.m., which is often their only meal of the day.  It consists of either a hearty soup or a rice/meat dish. Then they start on homework and receive tutoring as needed. Kids work in teams to encourage each other to finish in a timely manner and do quality work.  When finished, they do chores and then enjoy free play time.

We also provide hour-long workshops at the end of the day, including English, Music, Art, and ecological type classes. The day ends at 5 p.m. This school year we have begun to support five children in the mornings and send them off to school at noon.


The Nine-Year-Old Who Didn’t Know the Alphabet

Joel Loja’s parents spend much of their lives in the garbage digging out recyclables in order to eke out a living. It’s a tough life that requires families to focus on surviving each day.

Joel was one of the first babies to enter the Quito Dump Daycare, now called the Child Development Center (CDC), where he received nutritious meals, snacks and love. But when it came time for him to leave the CDC and go to school, it became clear Joel was very behind educationally. So when we opened the after-school program to help kids, Joel’s parents asked for help.

Joel’s challenges are typical for the children of Dump families. He had psychological problems in addition to being behind in school. When he got home from school, there was no one there to help him with his homework or encourage him.

“Joel’s grades were very low when we took him into the after-school program,” said Jose Jimenez, who along with his wife Teresa oversee ER’s Quito programming. “At that time Joel couldn’t write and it was very difficult for him to learn. He was about nine years old and did not even know his alphabet. So we started working with him.”

After-School Program Comes to the Rescue

Quito Kids receive nutritous mealsJoel was one of the first kids to receive help at the Quito Family Resource Center (QFRC), which opened to serve Dump Community families. The Center focuses on education and nutrition.

“His mother shared what was going on with Joel,” Teresa Jimenez said. “She told us she just wanted help to get him through grade school because the family would not be able to help him attend school after that. Her goal was for Joel to work with her in the garbage after he got through grade school. She did not think there was any value to study further.”

There were 10 students enrolled when the QFRC first opened. Jose worked with nine of them. Teresa worked just with Joel because he was so far behind. She started by helping him to just write his letters. After about two months, they were able to integrate him in with the other kids. He learned how to write by copying verses from the Bible.
12745958_1402774036415580_3121029424519496714_n“We worked with him to read, write and learn the alphabet,” Teresa said. “Now he is one of the best students. His handwriting is very good. He is reading very well. And his self-esteem is very high. His desire is to finish grade school and go into high school. His dream is to be someone important in life.

“When he came into Family Center, he would go into a corner to read,” Teresa said “After a while he would say, ‘I can read’. One day he said his teacher told him, ‘You are improving so much’. He was very proud of that.

“Joel realizes that his parents have endured a very hard life by working in the dump, Teresa added. “His father has osteoporosis and can no longer work. His mother has to work in the garbage to get food and meet the needs of the family.”

Joel’s family is suffering a lot and his desire is to learn and be able to work in a healthy environment so his parents will not have to work in the garbage.

“The desire of his heart is to help his parents,” Jose said. “Our work at the QFRC is to help him to realize his goals. Every day we have been motivating him to keep going.”

Today Joel is 12 and is doing well physically and emotionally. Joel has several years to go before he will graduate high school, so his continued involvement in the after-school program is crucial if he is to accomplish his goals.


Caro: Growing Up in the Dump Community

Caro is one of hundreds of Quito Kids served over the yearsBy Dawn Carnill

(Sept. 14, 2016)

Caro was born just days after our daycare center opened in the Quito garbage dump. Her mother had been working there since she was a child herself– gleaning things she could use and mining for recyclables to sell. Caro’s two older sisters spent their toddler and preschool years with their mother in the trash.

Less than a year before Caro’s birth, the Ecuadorian government restructured the dump, assigning an environmental foundation to oversee the workers, and to prohibit any children from being on the site with their parents. It was a good regulation. It was a much-needed regulation. But it was a very difficult one for these families. They were earning only dollars a day. How could they pay someone to watch their children?

Caro.12.2006Extreme Response had been hoping to start a daycare center for the dump community for quite awhile. When we approached those that were in charge of the facility, we were told it wasn’t necessary.

But then, just like that, it was.

The new foundation came to us, at the request of their workers, to ask if we would open a daycare center for their children. That center (now known as the Quito Child Development Center or CDC) officially started on April 17, 2006. That very first day, only one mom was brave enough to leave her child with us. Her name was Veronica and she was about 18 months old. Just a month or so later, baby Caro and her two older sisters (ages 4 & 3) started coming after their mother realized how this new daycare could benefit her kids.

Caro and all 5 of her sisters attended our daycare center and preschool until they aged out. They also attended the annual Christmas party in the dump. Although the girls aren’t yet enrolled in our after school program at the Quito Family Resource Center, the younger ones are on a waiting list to attend. Teresa Jimenez, co-director of the QFRC has built a relationship with their mother over the years.

Quito Kids

Cara stands to the right of Daniel.


Sisters Fight to Overcome Poverty’s Grip

(Feb. 24, 2016)

When ER co-founder Jerry Carnill made his first connection at the Quito Dump in 1997, he did not have a grand plan to fight poverty. He simply felt compassion for the people living and working in the trash and wanted to help them. He reached out to a young boy, Victor, who agreed to gather a bunch of his friends for a Saturday morning kids club.
That first kids club was a big success and led to what Extreme Response (ER) has become today. Nineteen years later, we can tell countless stories of improved health, housing, childcare, education and hope among the dump community.

The story of Victor and his family, however, provides a dose of reality. The brutal truth is that breaking the grip of poverty can be arduous and painful.

Victor’s journey is most easily told through the lives of his two daughters, Thresa* and Mayta*. By the time the sisters were born, Victor and his wife had fallen into a pit of drugs and alcohol.

We met the sisters when their grandmother brought them to ER’s newly opened daycare (now called the Child Development Center or CDC). They were some of the first children accepted into the CDC. The girls were living in the dump with Victor’s mother, who was caring for the girls as a result of their parents’ substance abuse.

la fotoBefore long, ER’s Jose and Teresa Jimenez, who ran the CDC, learned that their mother and grandmother had no intentions of sending the sisters to school. The girls would be taught to pick through the trash for recyclables, just like the generations before them.

“We had to work very hard with the family to convince them that the girls needed to be in the daycare and eventually in school,” Jose said.

“While they were in the CDC, the grandmother realized they were learning and they should go to school. When the children left the daycare they went directly into school. The grandmother poured her life into the girls.

“Unfortunately, the grandmother stepped on nail and developed an infection that later turned into cancer in her leg. She died about three years later when the girls were about six and seven years old,” Jose said.

Grandmother’s Death Derails Hope

When the grandmother died, the girls went to live with Victor and his wife, despite the fact that they were struggling with addictions. Before long, the parents began using the girls to deal drugs. Neighbors reported what the parents were doing with the girls to authorities and the sisters were taken from their parents and put in a home.

During the judgment it was determined the sisters’ parents were drug addicts. Authorities then called the maternal grandmother, who also worked at the Quito Dump, to see if she would take custody of the children. She was given permission to care for the children. She put the girls in a nearby school in Zambiza and ER temporarily lost contact with the girls.

“The maternal grandmother went to work in the morning and came home about 5 p.m. But when the girls came home from school, their parents would be across the street waiting for them and would send them out to distribute drugs or alcohol,” Jose shared.

12801133_10153478370141864_2853622005615816398_n“The grandmother did not know what to do. She spoke with the director at the school and was told about an organization that works with kids. The grandmother realized it was Extreme Response. She initially had looked for us (Jose and Teresa) at the Dump but gave up when someone had told her (erroneously) that we were no longer there. She was very happy to find us,” Teresa said.

“The kids were malnourished, not cared for and had received no affection. The grandmother and the girls were all living in the garbage at the time. She was busy going through the trash, so the girls were unsupervised.

“We were able to get the girls into our after-school program at the Quito Family Resource Center. Initially, the girls needed psychological help, which we were able to provide.”

Hope Restored for these Quito Kids

“Two months ago the psychologist said they no longer needed to see her. The girls’ self-esteem and overall psychological health had improved very much thanks to the help they received at the Family Center,” Teresa said.

Today the sisters are 11 and 12. They are progressing well in school. Their future is much brighter. The goal is that the girls will finish high school, but more importantly that they remain healthy, break the vices of their parents and not get caught in a downward cycle.
ER’s after-school program provides a lifeline to children and families who are struggling with deep poverty, addictions and a lack of education. By providing tutoring, a nutritious meal and encouragement, ER is giving girls like Thresa and Mayta a chance to stay in school, gain sustainable skills and break free from the grips of poverty.

*Editor’s Note: The sisters names have been changed for their protection and privacy.

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