Diego in Ecuador

A few years ago, Mrs. Kite and myself were lucky enough to visit Ecuador. This country of extremes sits on the North West corner of South America looking out at the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Inland the terrain stretches up into The Andes and, then, goes down into the jungle which borders Brazil. In the Andes, there is the opportunity to experience snow on the Equator as well as the site of active volcanoes surrounding the capital, Quito. As if this mixture doesn't present a significant enough challenge, the fault line that affects California runs right down the middle of the country. Mrs. Kite and myself enjoyed living through an earthquake and my good lady also suffered altitude sickness. You could not meet a more dramatic mixture of beauty and inhospitality. Ecuador, that is.

It is a fascinating country. You can get a tourist eye view from The Lonely Planet and the BBC will, of course, give you some facts and figures. Delving back into the history of the country is fascinating with the links from the Inca empire through to the arrival of the Spanish who were overthrown by Sucre. Of course, Simon Bolivar got involved but, then, what South American country didn't see him charging over the hill. Today, the President struggles to get away from the corruption of the local mafia and to help a population struggling with a poor economy and regular natural disasters. You'll see the latest under Ecuador Times

Diego was born in 2002 and lives with a number of family members including mum, two sisters and a brother. Their house is made of adobe with a tile and slate roof though it is lucky to have an official water connection inside.
The main problem is that a small income makes it difficult to make ends meet.
Plan International works to help improve sources of water as well as assisting in the areas of health, education, housing and income. Ultimately, the whole community including Diego will benefit from this work.

Plan International has developed a large, global network of support for children. From this, they were able to introduce us to Diego Hernan. The organisation was started in 1937 by a couple of journalists shocked by the orphaned children in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Today, the organisation operates at a number of levels in 45 developing countries. They get involved by working with governments, development partners and communities to help to improve specific facilities in deprived areas. They key point is that everyone can buy into the local projects to safeguard the future of the community and, in particular, the children. When a local family is involved in these projects, people like us get the opportunity to sponsor their children for the duration of the community project. These projects are based around five key elements that support the development of the children and, hence, the future of the community. These are health, education, livelihood, habitat and building relationships. Nobody can argue with that and Plan International does a wonderful job across many parts of the world. Pretty obviously, Mr Kite thinks that it would be great if you got involved, too. Read about sponsoring a child here.

The Extended Family

The Buryi family in Belarus

Hui in China

Luis-Alberto in Colombia

Nzilani-nduku in Kenya

Mai in Senegal

Ho in Vietnam

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