Lisa's Angels - The Ecuador Child Care Project
On December 28, 2007, Lisa Franke-Haida, a member of Belleville St. Paul UCC, passed away after a brief illness. Lisa and her two sons, Brian and Tyler, had traveled with the 2006 Ecuador Habitat team to build two homes in Catamayo, Ecuador. That experience sparked in Lisa a great enthusiasm for the Ecuador Partnership and a deep love for the people she met there. She was especially concerned about the plight of single mothers and their children. Many indigenous women in this area are raising children alone. Their husbands have left home to find work and have never returned. Lisa had an opportunity to hear how mothers might have to leave small children alone overnight in their one-room home without supervision so that animals could be taken into the mountains to graze. She saw the poverty and lack of educational opportunities. She saw the desperation in the eyes of those mothers who did not have a safe, secure, and loving place to leave their children. And so, Lisa’s husband Bob, designated the Ecuador Partnership as the recipient of memorial funds and requested that those funds be used for a child care center.
On July 4, 2009, members of Lisa’s family traveled to Romerillos, Ecuador and helped in the initial stage of construction of the child care center which the women of the village named Lisa’s Angels. The center was completed in cooperation with our partner, FEDICE. It will provide care for children six months to six years of age, and will include overnight stays when necessary. Words cannot express the gratitude of these families for this gift given in memory of Lisa from the friends and colleagues who knew and loved her.