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Feeding 100 Families in Ecuador

July 2021

Mother and daughter from Arenillas, Ecuador receive a box of nonperishable food items from SCDW’s Programs Committee Member Alexander Santiago Manzaba García (right) in June 2021 through SCDW’s Project Health. SCDW
Mother and daughter from Arenillas, Ecuador receive a box of nonperishable food items from SCDW’s Programs Committee Member Alexander Santiago Manzaba García (right) in June 2021 through SCDW’s Project Health. SCDW

Arenillas, Ecuador—Students at Rutgers University, NJIT, and George Washington University have come together to help children from economically-struggling communities. The students—when they are not writing papers or studying for finals—manage the operations of Save the Children of the Developing World (SCDW), serving as officers, directors, committee members, or general advisors to improve the wellbeing of children living in developing countries, including Ecuador and Egypt, through various projects.

The organization was started in 2017 by Abanoub Armanious, then a Bayonne High School student and now a student at Rutgers double majoring in Public Health and Cell Biology & Neuroscience with a minor in Religion. Armanious, a first-generation American and college student, founded the group after traveling to Egypt and Ecuador and observing the dire economic conditions and the lack of social safety nets. Since then, he has led SCDW in supporting many communities within both Egypt and Ecuador with the help of individuals like Alexander Santiago Manzaba García, who was Armanious’s tour guide when he went to Ecuador and is now one of SCDW’s Program Committee members.

“I visited Ecuador to conduct college-accredited research with Manzaba’s help and I could not help but notice children working arduous jobs when they should be in school or playing with their friends,” he said. “So, I enlisted Manzaba’s help once more, but to work together to support these same children having to deal with the consequences of living in underprivileged communities.”
Family from Arenillas, Ecuador receive a box of nonperishable food items in June 2021 through SCDW’s Project Health. SCDW
Family from Arenillas, Ecuador receive a box of nonperishable food items in June 2021 through SCDW’s Project Health. SCDW

Manzaba, who is the son of a farmer and a housewife, lived in Estero de Damas, a small village on the Coast of Ecuador where he attended a single-teacher school with about 40 students and two classrooms before going on to earn a degree in History and Tourism from The Central University of Ecuador in Quito. While working as a tour guide, Manzaba represents Ecuador as SCDW’s Programs Committee Member and advises the organization on the dire situations occurring in the country, including in Arenillas, a canton located in the El Oro Province of Ecuador. Manzaba advised that SCDW provide boxes of nonperishable food items that include tuna, sardines, lentils, red beans, pasta, sugar, salt, oatmeal, cooking oil, and rice.

“The main sources of income for families in Arenillas are those of agriculture and commerce, but because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, many of their small businesses needed to cease operations, forcing some to travel to Peru in order to purchase their necessities,” said Manzaba. “Fortunately for them, I was able to organize a Project Health launch with SCDW to provide them with food and alleviate some of the financial strain imposed on them by the pandemic.”

Prior to this specific project, SCDW supported the efforts of the Instituto de Investigación, Educación y Promoción Popular del Ecuador (INEPE), a school on the south side of Quito, Ecuador that educates underprivileged children from pre-school to high school. SCDW found out about INEPE’s mission from Manzaba and through the organization’s Project Educate, SCDW helped finance workshops for 5 to 12 year olds and later provided 55 of the students with school supply kits. Both of these project launches were very successful and this Project Health launch in Arenillas was no exception, with the representative of the Palmales Parish Council, Jinsop Jaén, thanking the young leaders of SCDW in a letter after the project launch was completed.

Family from Arenillas, Ecuador receive a box of nonperishable food items in June 2021 through SCDW’s Project Health. SCDW
Family from Arenillas, Ecuador receive a box of nonperishable food items in June 2021 through SCDW’s Project Health. SCDW
“In my capacity as Vocal of the Palmales Parish Council, I want to thank you for the donation of 100 food boxes, which benefited 180 children. We want to express our sincere thanks,” Jaén said.

SCDW hopes to continue supporting underprivileged families not only within Ecuador, but also in Egypt and the rest of the developing world. Doing so, however, requires the support of members of the general public. So, they urge communities to get involved by donating, creating student chapters, and holding fundraisers and donation drives.

About Save the Children of the Developing World (SCDW): SCDW is a NJ Nonprofit Corporation based in Bayonne, New Jersey and managed by a group of college students who are dedicated to improving the wellbeing of children living in third-world countries by providing them with the tools to pursue their interests and become the person they dream to be. They have been ranked Platinum on Guidestar—a nonprofit information service—for being transparent on their different projects and how they have worked towards fulfilling their mission.

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