Children protection first

By Johmara Vargas, World Vision Ecuador 

Pictures taken by: Julia Carrion, Communications Officer, World Vision Ecuador 

April 19. Relief efforts from international and national organizations have not stopped since last Saturday, April 16, when a 7.8 earthquake hit Ecuador. It has been complicated to assess damage and distribute aid because main roads and telecommunications infrastructure are still very unstable. Ecuadorian government will be coordinating all emergency response actions to ensure the security of the population in the most affected regions in Manabi province. 

At this moment, World Vision Ecuador is the only international organization that is participating in the Provincial Emergency Committee, because of its experience in responding to major emergencies in other countries and regions. Ecuador has started to receive aid from several countries such as Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Cuba, Chile, Bolivia, Switzerland, Spain and Honduras. 

Additionally, World Vision’s main concern is the safety and protection of affected children. For that reason, World Vision has already opened two Child Friendly Spaces in the city of Portoviejo that are helping 230 children to recover through art and ludic activities after the stress and trauma of experiencing a devastating event. A third Child Friendly Space will be installed in the town of Santa Ana today to attend near 100 children. 

“My family and I are okay. We went through very difficult times and were very scared. There is a lot of material damage, but nothing to be sorry about in family, thank God. I am now ready to help in what is needed.” said July Carrion, Communications Officer, living in Manabi, near the epicenter.