Salem established a project in Mindo in Ecuador in 2000. The project started as a local environmental education initiative supported by Salem. It soon became apparent that the most pressing issue in the village was care for needy children. To meet this need Salem Ecuador was established in 2002 with the help of professionals from Germany to provide child and youth services. The project is staffed with six 5 workers plus four freelance tutors for homework help. There are also two vacant internship positions.
There are 12 children and teenagers aged 10 to 16 years who presently live in the children’s home. Every day after school, 25 more children and teenagers come to the Salem house to do homework, to play, or help in the garden.
The village of Mindo is not really so impoverished. Tourism is a growth industry, attracting tourists from the capital of Quito to enjoy the cloud forest flora and fauna. Alcoholism is a significant social problem as are the countless overworked mothers with large families and who are often also the victims of domestic violence and abuse.
The objective of the Salem Ecuador project objective is to secure training places for the children and allow them to complete an education. Another goal is to improve family situations through intensive counseling with parents.
The number of needy children far exceeds the capacity of the Salem children's house. In order to serve the growing number of children, we need donations. Nothing is harder than to reject children in need, the most vulnerable in society.