Much of the focus on international charity has been directed to countries in Africa. Rightfully so, given the economic disparities and the spate of problems which exist on the continent. In fact, in a ranking of the 10 poorest countries in the world, all of them are in Africa. The poorest of them, Malawi, having a little more than $200 per capita among its residents. Issues such as these shed a light on the need for philanthropy worldwide and a continued efforts to help the less fortunate.
Still, Africa alone is not the only place affected by poverty. In many countries throughout the world, there are conditions that have made daily life a challenge for the people who inhabit them. Consider Ecuador, for example, the country is one of the poorest in South America; the GDP per capita is about 5 times less than what exists in the United States. A visit to the country shows how clear the differences are from what we experience in the states. It is a devastating and sobering reality, where nearly a quarter of the country’s population is struggling just to live a proper life.
That’s why it meant so much when MMR employees visited the country to give back in a meaningful and heartfelt way. Recently, employees had a toy giveaway for 170 children in Tonchigue, a small town in the northwest coast of the country near Esmeraldas. MMR is currently doing work in Ecuador (the company has operations in at least four other South American countries), with a branch office in Esmeraldas–about an hour away from Tonchigue. In addition to being a part of the overall economy, our employees value being able to make a difference in the lives of the communities in which they serve. It’s a facet of the job that we take seriously.
This has not been the only effort toward bringing happiness to the region. MMR has also provided various sports uniforms and equipment for the children in the area. Doing so has resulted in remarkable joy and involvement from the community at large, and has been such a great boost in the morale of the young people there. Additionally, the impact it made on our employees who experienced the change first hand was inspiring. While getting new toys or sports equipment is not so much of a big deal for many American children, these efforts really do mean a lot to those who have little.
This blog is not meant to imply that we’ve solved all of the problems in Ecuador. Of course, there is still a long way to go toward repairing the country entirely, including better opportunities for education and development in more rural areas. Ecuador’s own government is making efforts to reduce the levels of poverty throughout the nation. What we have done, though, with our operations, the service from our employees and support of the locals, is create a presence that is positive and transformational, even in the relatively small area that we’ve done so. That’s truly what giving back is all about.