CETAP-Lucy is an educational-support organization in Chilcapamba, a rural barrio outside of Cuenca, Ecuador. For more than twelve years, it has provided technical support, speech therapy, psychological counseling, and tutoring for disadvantaged children and families. Pre-COVID-19, two teachers provided early stimulation and socialization skills to 18 preschoolers and homework and English help for 25 school-aged children. With the financial support from Hearts of Gold and individual sponsors, CETAP-Lucy has been able to keep its doors open through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, but with reduced attendance.
As we wait for the world to slowly recover from COVID-19, CETAP-LUCY has a lot to celebrate! All of our children were promoted to the next grade except for one, who will be receiving help through the month of July to complete projects with the expectation that he will be promoted. Additionally, many of our students passed at the top of their class, with extremely high grades!
One young woman, 19-year-old Jenny, is a special needs child who has been attending CETAP-Lucy since age three. She will graduate as the TOP STUDENT from her training program this month. Jenny has been learning how to work in the hospitality and tourism industry. She feels very confident about her future and is ready to join the workforce! We are all very proud of her!
The English-language course provided by the California-based Children of the Night program continues to be a success. Seven children have been receiving one-on-one classes three days a week. None of the children have dropped out of the program, and all are doing well. The children are now speaking English with more confidence. Many university classes in Ecuador are taught in English, so the special help these children are receiving will make it much easier for them to enter higher education programs and will increase their ability to get good-paying jobs. We are blessed by this gift.
CETAP-Lucy also works in conjunction with Hearts of Gold and the Cuenca Soup Kitchen to distribute food and necessities to through a food bank. The temporary bakery set up in the program’s psychologist’s office will be moving this month to a new location in a restaurant a few doors down from CETAP-Lucy. The bakery will continue to provide work for poor families as well as to provide and distribute fresh bread to the community. Children at CETAP-Lucy have enjoyed being involved in painting a mural inside the restaurant.
During the month of July, CETAP-Lucy provides help to children who need to retake tests or complete extra-credit assignments. Tutors are available. Additionally, field trips are planned to parks, swimming pools, and museums for children who have few opportunities to take advantage of these experiences. Every day during the school break, volunteers bring art materials and projects for the children.
Another part of the summer program is the continuation of martial arts training. Carlos Picón, a CETAP-Lucy student since age five, is a black-belt-level Tae Kwon Doh instructor. The children have enjoyed the classes and they were recently gifted uniforms made by local seamstresses. In addition to the physical benefits of this exercise, the children have learned confidence and self-pride, which will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
With the move of the bakery to the restaurant from the psychologist’s office, we expect very soon to begin to provide family and personal counselling again. We also look forward to our children being able to return to in-classroom schooling in September.
We cannot appropriately express our gratitude to GlobalGiving and Hearts of Gold for your support during this difficult time. We are proud of our ability to be flexible and to respond to changing circumstances. We strive to take the best advantage of the services and assistance offered to us. Without your help, our children would have fallen far behind their peers. Instead, they have overcome so many difficulties! We thank you every day!