Otavalo has a rapidly increasing population of severely impoverished street vendors due to COVID-19, with many trying to support families on $2 - $3 per day. The Ayni Ecuador Foundation has begun serving this vulnerable population in terms of nutritional aid to support physical health, psychosocial support to maintain mental health, and vocational support to increase earning potential. However, we still need your help to continue to stabilize and empower this overlooked at-risk group of people.
The COVID-19 emergency has heavily impacted the hundreds of street vendors dedicated to informal sales in Otavalo's urban spaces. Many are of indigenous ethnicity, some are refugees, but all are in dire economic straits. The majority are women, many with small children. They face difficult, unsafe working conditions and enormous financial challenges made worse by the pandemic. Their numbers are increasing as more people with formal employment have temporarily or permanently lost their jobs.
This project provides comprehensive support: 1. A biweekly basket of healthy food to reduce hunger and malnutrition. 2. Monthly sessions of professional psychosocial support provide encouragement, safe dialog, and empowerment strategies. 3. Monthly sessions of vocational support in which they create a CV and receive work assistance will help them be more employable, thus increasing earning potential.
Having received food aid, participants will be able to spend their extremely limited funds on necessities like medicine, clothing, etc. for their families. The psychosocial support aims to equip them with coping and empowerment strategies which help them overcome current and future challenges. The vocational support aims to help them reduce or even eliminate the need to sell in the streets. By addressing these 3 areas, we hope to maximize the chance for long-term improvement in quality of life.