For the last seven years, dozens of young Catholics in Ecuador have been volunteering to bring food and spiritual assistance to hundreds of people who live in extreme poverty on the streets of Guayaquil through a program called “Bread for my brother,” created by the Christian Life Movement.
The newspaper Expreso published the testimonies of volunteers and noted their youthfulness and the effectiveness of the program, which now has seven groups throughout the city.
One of the program’s coordinators is Alvaro Florez Rojas, a business and marketing student, who takes to the streets of Guayaquil each week with 50 volunteers to help some 300 people, mainly the elderly and children, who live on the streets.
“Everybody who knows him calls him ‘Alvarito.’ He is the one who brings the goods, which minutes later are distributed. The menu that night was chicken. Children have the priority. He was made a coordinator two years ago, when the previous coordinator was no longer able to continue. He had just turned 18,” the newspaper reported.
The “Bread for my brother” program is sustained through donations and was created after the Fourth Congress of Catholic University students took place in August of 2002 in the city of Santiago de Guayaquil. According to the program’s official website, it was created “in response to the need to assist the growing number of indigenous people in our city, in order to help these brothers and sisters in need to rediscover their dignity as children of God through comprehensive works of solidarity.” Their outreach programs help to cover the poor’s most urgent material, spiritual, psychological and housing needs.
More information on the program can be found at: http://www.mvc-ecuador.org/