We recently received an update from our partner Teresa Susong, founder of FACES: New World Christian School on the outskirts of Quito, Ecuador. Cross International currently supports 35 of their students, who are child laborers from indigenous Quichua Indian mountain communities. New World School offers night classes so these students are able to work during the day and catch up to their grade level in the evenings.
One of the students Cross helps support is Lourdes Vera, a 24-year-old from a rural Quichua Indian family. She has been a student at New World School for four years and is now in the eleventh grade.
Lourdes spent her teenage years away from her family, working every day in order to make ends meet. Before New World School, she only had an elementary education. She was forced to drop out of school out of economic necessity because her father became ill and could no longer work and support the family.
So Lourdes was sent to the city to be a housemaid, one of the most dangerous jobs for children, due to the potential risk of sexual exploitation. Though she tirelessly worked to help her parents and siblings, she never gave up her ultimate dream—to be the first in her family to earn a high school diploma.
Thankfully, Cross and our donors are helping her make that dream a reality. Even though Lourdes is significantly older than the other students in her class, she is proud to be able to learn at New World School. The academic and spiritual support she receives from her teachers has not only helped her in the classroom, but has also helped her land a more profitable job as an office assistant at a nearby seminary.
Because of compassionate Christians, Lourdes is on her way to breaking the cycle of poverty by becoming the first one from her Quichua Indian family to graduate from high school.
“All of this is made possible by Cross International and your supporters,” Teresa said. “You make all the difference!”