This site uses analytics cookies to collect data in aggregate form and third-party cookies to improve the user experience.


12 months
12000 € / 7870 €

Project Location

San Lorenzo is located in the region of Esmeraldas, called "green province" for the incredible flora existing there. This region is possessed by the majority of the Afrodescendent people of Ecuador. San Lorenzo is a city with one of the highest rates of poverty with serious problems of marginalization, underdevelopment, violence between rival gangs for drug trafficking with neighboring Colombia, even if it is one of the richest natural regions in terms of environmental resources and marine biodiversity. Disabled children in this area are often not assisted and do not have access to basic rehabilitation, health and educational services.

Ecuador has been paying attention to the problem of disability since the 1950s; previously this sector was only supported by the principles of charity. In the 1970s, public bodies assumed responsibility for providing specialized assistance to the disabled until the creation of the CONADIS (National Council of Disabled People of Ecuador) which began to function in 1993.

In 2001, the Parish of San Lorenzo with the Comboni Sisters saw the reality of disabled children left to themselves and decided to open the doors welcoming them in the parish classrooms. They started a program with the aim of guaranteeing children a certain level of education, supporting their families and helping them understand how to accompany their children. Also to raise awareness towards the care and inclusion of these children. Over time, thanks to the support of the Don Gnocchi Foundation, the Nuevos Pasos school was founded with qualified personnel to meet the needs of children not only from the educational, but also rehabilitation and health. The school belongs to the Apostolic Vicariate of Esmeraldas and in 2008 it received recognition from the Ecuadorian government as "Institute of Special Education" ("Instituto Fiscomisional de Educación Especial").

Project description

The project aims to strengthen the promotion of the development of children and young people with disabilities, improving their living conditions in three different areas of intervention: mental, visual or auditory.  The results obtained so far with this project are very positive. Many children started smiling again and found the courage to face life with more serenity. Those who have left the Institute have acquired a certain autonomy and have managed to integrate into society. The recognition obtained entailed the obligation to follow the educational program agreed with the Ministry of Education, but also the possibility of access to subsidies to pay, at least in part, teaching and non-teaching staff qualified for teaching and service staff.

The Institute is covering all the expenses (food, medicines, ecc) since these children come from poor families who can only make a symbolic contribution that does not cover the full cost. The costs indicated in this project are to cover these needs: the maintenance of the electrical system, the snack for children, and support for specialist visits in addition to management costs such as stationery and mail, cleaning materials, and compensation that the coordinators dealing with helping children to have access to local integrative services and maintain contact with sponsors of long-distance adoptions.


  • Offer children and young people of Nuevos Pasos a safe and healthy place to study and follow rehabilitation programmes
  • Continuate with the adoption of the poorest children of Esmeraldas to ensure their continued education


Direct: 80 children adopted in Esmeraldas and 150 children and adolescents with disabilities in San Lorenzo

Indirect: families and society    





Referent sister of the project: Sr Aldaz Ilzarbe María Piedad

Project's costs

Esmeraldas adoptions
€ 4,280.00
Esmeraldas Postage, travel and stationery
€ 500.00
Esmeraldas adoption coordinator compensation
€ 720.00
Nuevos Pasos: feeding
€ 1,000.00
Nuevos Pasos: Drugs and medical expenses
€ 500.00
Nuevos Pasos: Maintenance costs
€ 1,000.00
Nuevos Pasos: Hygiene and cleaning products
€ 800.00
Electrical system maintenance
€ 2,000.00
Referent remuneration
€ 1,200.00
€ 12,000.00