Our objectives include improving the housing stock in Guasmo Sur, a barrio in the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador. Created as a grass-roots community project in 1999, AUF began with building bathrooms for families who had no indoor plumbing. AUF evolved into improving existing housing, and eventually into building new homes. It provides financial and human resources for one or two building trips each summer. Volunteers' covenants cover travel expenses and a large portion of the construction materials. Volunteers live with families in Guasmo Sur.
We work with the Ecuadorian non-profit, Mi Cometa, and provide grants so that they may hire local community experts, project managers, and trades people to partner with AUF, Inc. project leaders to plan and complete building projects. Recipient families are associated with, and selected by, Mi Cometa. Our organization responds to the long term, as well as acute, needs of the community by looking for projects and relationships that foster developmental progress.
Additional programming provides scholarship opportunities for local youths to attend primary and secondary school in Guasmo Sur. In addition, AUF, Inc. provides financial resources for the development and implementation of a weekly tutoring program for students receiving scholarships. These financial resources include funding for local teachers for the tutoring program, sponsoring summer interns, and materials for running the tutoring program’s weekly activities. Participating students are exposed to multiple content areas not included in their schools, including health, poetry, astronomy, cooking, cultural awareness, human rights, leadership and critical thinking, and history.
A third area of AUF, Inc. programming is improving health care in Guasmo Sur. Comprehensive dental care for families is provided through yearly dental mission trips, prioritizing pediatric services. AUF, Inc. collaborates with dental professionals from the Guasmo Sur community, as well as from United States’ dental schools, to provide continued services. Diabetes support, health teaching and collaboration with community health professionals are also part of AUF’s health programming.