Hope and a Helping Hand for Poor Children in Ecuador

Unity 4 Orphans joins forces with Dame Tu Mano, providing vulnerable children in Ecuador with education and holistic support to help them succeed in school and break the cycle of poverty.

U4O shared the exciting news of our expansion into Ecuador last summer, and since then has launched an ESL program where over 50 kids are learning to speak English. By partnering with Dame Tu Mano, a nonprofit organization established in 2015, we are able to extend our reach to help even more vulnerable children in Ecuador.

Nonprofit in Ecuador Continues to Grow to Serve Poor Children

When Dame Tu Mano Director of Education Karen Jaramillo joined the organization six years ago, they were serving less than 100 kids, and have since grown to support nearly 700 children in five locations! Their main facility has a basic computer center where kids can utilize internet access, get help with homework, receive counseling, and learn English as a second language.

It’s a blessing for us to have this opportunity . . . it’s not so easy to get set up, find teachers, and a facility. Thank God, now we’re on our way.
– Karen Jaramillo, Director of Education, Dame Tu Mano

A Holistic Vision for Children Aligns with Unity 4 Orphans’ Mission

U4O Founder Joe Brandi visited Ecuador last summer and began making vital connections with local educators and volunteers to lay the groundwork for ESL education, nutrition, and counseling. The partnership with Dame Tu Mano couldn’t be more perfect as we continue to see our visions align for the future of the children we serve in Ecuador.

A man and a woman stand in front of a podium with microphones in their hands at the Ecuador charity event. They are both smiling, proud of their work with the non-profit organization U4O.

I really believe that God brought me to Ecuador to meet children desperately in need of our programs.
– Joe Brandi, U4O Founder

Changing Lives in Ecuador Happens One Child at a Time

Karen shares one story of transformation that speaks directly to the purpose of both U4O and Dame Tu Mano. A young boy named Miguel came to the Saturday program for the first time, and just like she always does with the children, Karen opened her arms to give him a hug before he left. He looked at her and with a straight face and asked, “What is a hug?”

A man stands in front of a group of people, U4O volunteers and Ecuadorian children, and speaks about U4O and the non-profit organization’s accomplishments.

This heartbreaking and poignant moment stuck with Karen, and though it brought on tears when she returned home that day, Miguel has since grown and thrived before her eyes. He even has a nickname now of “Monster Hugger” because of his friendly, affectionate personality!

Success for us means keeping our feet on the ground and doing everything we can for these kids.
– Karen Jaramillo, Director of Education, Dame Tu Mano

U4O Brings a Full-Circle Approach to Caring for Vulnerable Children

Longtime U4O champion Nick Ospina accompanied Joe on his trip to Ecuador and they spent time with the kids and staff at Dame Tu Mano. Nick’s own background growing up in Ecuador gives him a special place in his heart for the people there, and his unique perspective has played a role in our expansion to the country.

The children pictured hold up individuals signs that spell out the bible verse: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

During their recent visit, Nick told Karen that she and the staff at Dame Tu Mano are angels, but she says it’s all about the kids. Everything they do is to empower the children and people of the villages they serve. This dedication inspires us to continue reaching out to vulnerable kids in Latin America, and we invite you to help transform lives with us.

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