Food on the table

For: Orphanage ' Fundacion Santa Maria de la Esperanza'
Olon to Montañita , Ecuador
Organizer: Erwin Musper
$14,021
of $20,000 goal.
Raised by 155 donors
70% Complete
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The Story

People who have followed my previous campaign know that I am deeply involved in all things regarding my local orphanage. Today I had a talk with the lady who runs this safe haven for about 50 children between 3 months and 18 years old. Besides medical issues that need to be addressed I heard about a more urgent problem. It's about keeping the kids from starving......

How bad is it ? Well, it’s disastrous. The orphanage and the government extended and signed an agreement in February that would provide $ 4 dollars per child per day. Hardly enough for the very basic needs. Unfortunately so far, they have not been paid a penny. Next week it will be two months without any money coming in. The staff can’t be paid anymore and as of next week there will be no more food to feed the children. They have tried to buy food on credit and have succeeded until two weeks ago. Constant communication between government and the orphanage has not resulted in the promised payments that they desperately need and it doesn’t look good for the near future.

With the kitchen staff I have established a list of bare minimum survival needs. We need to help out to give the orphanage a buffer of at least one month of food. So I hope we can organize a ‘ food run ‘. I am so hoping that everybody who reads this will help out with food donations (locally) or money for food purchases. Just to eliminate the horrible idea that there will be nothing on the kid’s table next Monday. If we can give the staff the peace of mind that the children are taken care of for at least the next few weeks, we can start to work on a long term solution. BUT KIDS WELFARE FIRST. Let’s take care of this. I will personally go to the wholesale places and buy the items from the orphanage's food shopping list until the money runs out.

To feed 50 children for one month : $4,365.  That's my goal for now. 
Any donation is life-saving. Just $ 4 will help one child through one day.
Can I count on your compassion again ?  I know I can. Look at the kid in this picture. Let's keep that smile on her face. 

Erwin Musper.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on June 6, 2016

Posted on June 6, 2016

I just came back from the orphanage to pay a food bill of $ 2,260. That’s already the fourth one. All possible because of our dear donors. During last week we have seen some big changes. Twenty-one new children have been brought to the orphanage. Not just from the earthquake area but also abandoned children from as far as 300 miles away.

Suddenly we have to get shoes and clothes. Some children need instant medical attention, mainly because of severe malnourishment. Painful to see their tiny bodies. Six year olds looking like half their age. The place is now officially beyond capacity. We scramble to keep the living circumstances acceptable. And we will succeed !  

Kids that came here one week ago, completely withdrawn and dirty, are now smiling again and interacting with their  new ‘brothers and sisters’. I know we are fighting an uphill battle , but with your contributions we will be victorious. I cannot thank you enough.

The picture I choose to show you is a happy snapshot I took yesterday. It shows my wife Danielle with three children and Bryan, a former occupant. He is one of the success stories of the orphanage. From an early age he expressed his interest in everything about food. The caregivers acknowledged his passion and because of extra donations he will finish his education later this year and can call himself a ‘chef’ . We will take him to the food market and his first moment as a professional cook will be when he will cook for the orphanage. 


Posted on May 31, 2016

Posted on May 31, 2016

My dear friends,

the fundraising page is in its last few weeks and has been a wonderful experience. We surpassed the initial goal by 300 % and donations are still coming in. My wife and I have been on the ground at the orphanage and have witnessed the struggles and small victories every day. My camera has captured all of those moments. Some of those pictures I choose not to publish because of the shocking nature of the event. The other night was one of those moments. Five children from one family from the earthquake region, abandoned by their mother, finally arrived at the orphanage by a police car. I just happened to arrive when the cops left. 

Although cruel , I refuse to judge the mother’s decision. Her pain must be unbearable too.

The youngest girl  was clearly deeply traumatized. No life in her eyes and covered in open wounds from flee bites and lice. My wife held her and broke down. I put my camera aside and carried the girl to her new bed. I sat beside her and sang her a little song. I cried.

A million emotions running through the core of my being. I felt helpless but grateful to be there. She needs all of us and I pledge to be her voice to the world. But she’s not the only one. She doesn’t know it yet, but this girl is lucky to be where she is now. The orphanage has turned tragedy into triumph for many children. I witness this every day. It’s a magical place. Thank you for helping.The kids may not know you personally , but they know you. 

Erwin Musper.


Posted on April 26, 2016

Posted on April 26, 2016

This weekend we took care of the current food drive that was needed to keep the kitchen people happy at the orphanage. I gladly paid the bill of just over $ 2000 , made possible by you ,my dear donors. Little did we know what this week would bring us. The earthquake gets personal….

Although I could have expected it , I did not see this coming : In the next few days , the orphanage will see 40 new children arriving. That has never happened before and we are scrambling to find space for them. Refusing them would be cruel beyond words. They are from the north coast and just have lost their parents in the earthquake. Think about it. My heart breaks just imagining what kind of trauma these children are going through. I am actually at a loss for words. I see the desperation on the faces of the caregivers. They are running out of options. I know I will help with everything that is in my power , but I’m just one guy.  Any ideas out there ? Compassion is not a word - it is an action.

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