Andres Malo of Cuenca, Ecuador has a big heart for his home country. It is evident in his participation in a number of different causes that have helped his community. We’ve worked with Andres for a number of years to provide nutritional support for FAICE, an organization that works with children who are blind. His passion is undeniably an inspiration to us all.
For years Andres had dreamed of being able to help more children in his community get access to proper nutrition and with this new program aiming to do just that, he took immediate action.
When Andres contacted us, he explained the circumstances in Cuenca and painted a descriptive picture of how malnutrition has impacted the community. He also mentioned that he already had contacts and relationships within the municipality of the city. It didn’t take us long to see how important this was to Andres. We quickly conducted a conference call with the Mayor’s office and discussed plans to bring our initiatives to Ecuador. Soon after, Executive Director Billy Mullens went to Ecuador to tour the municipalities’ facilities for children and also several other orphanages that Andres knew could use our help.
The city of Cuenca, Ecuador currently oversees nine feeding programs included in municipality subsidies such as schools, day care centers and after school centers. The mayor and municipality staff are very aware of the effects that malnutrition can have on children. The staff has an excellent understanding of nutrition and they monitor children’s growth, focus in the classroom, and cognitive memory. When we explained the difference between cereal-based, synthetic solutions vs. whole food nutrition, their faces lit up. They quickly realized what we had to offer would radically change their current efforts and do more to help address the nutritional needs of the children in their care.
In April, we plan to ship a six month supply of whole food nutrition for 2,000 children. We’re looking forward to providing these children with proper nutrition that will provide a better opportunity to thrive and excel in life.
While touring the city, Billy received an unexpected invitation to appear on a local news television segment. When founder Bill McDonald and Eduardo Gonzales of Univision heard of MannaRelief’s plans to help children in the community, they invited Billy to do an interview about the work we are doing there. A short segment of the interview is below.
We can’t thank Andres enough for helping us make this incredible connection in Ecuador. We’re so excited about the partnership with the city of Cuenca and we can’t wait to see all of the incredible things to come!