BECAS Foundation International likes to keep our supporters in the loop of the exciting lives of our Ecuadorian scholars. This month, board member Linda Campbell, shares her experience of visiting the BECAS scholars in Quito, Ecuador. Enjoy!
I Can See Clearly Now
When Ella, our BECAS Board President, and I visited Ecuador this month we took two of our BECAS scholars to get glasses. Having worn glasses since I was eight years old, I am immensely grateful for sight, and passing along this gift to two teenagers was a delight. Edith is one month short of sixteen, a fact that she reminded us of often, and Willan is thirteen. Edith and her younger sister have adopted Willan, as you can see from this picture!
Lili, the BECAS Ecuadorian social worker and teacher, Ella and myself rode the bus with Edith and Willan, walked down a long street under construction, turned onto a dirt road, found the right building, took a flight of stairs up and around and entered a tiny office where the optometrist and his assistant provided free eye exams, and for $35, anti-reflective lenses and frames. The equipment was “old school,” the optometrist hand dropped the lenses into a device that sat on the patient’s face, working until the right prescription was reached. Edith chose bright pink glasses, Willan chose a black pair that made him look quite scholarly, and they both made a “compromiso” with us and the doctor that they would wear the glasses from the time they got up to the time they went to bed, every day. On our part, we promised to return to visit them.
We met with the parents of BECAS scholars. This was a spirited affair with much give and take. They are immensely grateful for the opportunity that their children have for education, dental, vision and health care through BECAS. Through the parent meetings this past year, they said that they had learned the importance of showing love and affection to their children, the importance of discipline that matched actions and consequences, the importance of protein in the mornings, rather than french fries and coca cola. We passed out toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss – enough for each member of each family. Ella gave a demonstration on using dental floss. We hope that Lili does not have to spend quite so much time next year taking the BECAS scholars to the Red Cross dentist – this year, Cinthya, six years old, had to have 5 root canals.
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