Category Archives: Education

Providing Hope to the Littlest Ones at the Dump

Dump Daycare kids on stepsExtreme Response has worked in the Quito Dump since 1997, starting with a focus helping kids living in extreme poverty. Our commitment to kids has only intensified over the years. Today, ER staff provide strategic programming that allows these kids to catch up to their peers. They do this by supplying nutritious meals and snacks, teaching life skills and using curriculum designed to help the kids advance. Staff also work with Dump parents to raise their engagement in their children’s development.

By Robyn Wallace, Assistant Director, Quito Dump Program

The recyclers grew up sifting through the trash in the Quito Dump alongside their parents to survive. They had no schooling, no protection, no healthcare, little food and even less hope of a different life. The Dump is now a recycling 2garbage transfer station and the young children of the past are the recycling adults of today.

Extreme Response’s Child Development Center within the garbage transfer station offers the first glimpse of hope to the littlest members of our recycling families. Our program,  which began in 2006 with a daycare, serves children age six months old to four years old, who enter the center five days a week and breathe hope.

Hope to eat. Hope to be clean. Hope to be healthy. Hope to learn, grow and be prepared for a lifetime of possibilities.

This past spring, the precious little ones we serve suffered alongside their families in an internal conflict among recycling leadership. Fear, hunger and constant closures challenged the hope we have been sowing. During that chaotic period, ER was able to provide food to our families on three occasions.

Dump Daycare









Dump Restrooms for Kids





School is back in session! Lesson plans are written, music is playing and building blocks cover the floor once again. We even have the addition of shiny new bathrooms that adorn our center, thanks to a short-term mission team in May. These restrooms will provide extra security and hygiene.

We march on. Hope is waiting.

Want to learn more about helping kids through ER? Read founder Jerry Carnill’s blog on rescuing more kids here, or visit our volunteer page.

Robyn WIMG_5534allace and her husband Brian have been serving in Quito, Ecuador,  since 2014. They work at the Zambiza Garbage Transfer Station, also known as the Quito Dump, where they help care for the nearly 300 families who work as recyclers.  Robyn has been instrumental in identifying curriculum and testing so the kids in the Dump Daycare can enter preschool and kindergarten at levels on par with other kids. Brian oversees the medical and dental clinics, which address families’ physical needs.

Jericho Goes Back to School

Jericho family

Sponsorship Program Rescues Filipino Youngster from a Life of Begging on the Streets

NapacorIn the suburbs just south of Manila, Philippines, lies Napacor, a community of shanties with no electricity or running water. Ironically, Napacor is built around an electricity tower and is named for the power company that owns it.

ER partner IT Tender ( runs a “drop-in” community center adjacent to Napacor and serves the community’s approximately 70 families with the goal of empowering children to become educated and responsible leaders.

One of those children, Jericho, has been part of IT Tender’s weekly Night Life program since it was launched in 2013. Night Life allows children living in local squatter communities to visit the drop-in center, bathe and Jerichoenjoy a hot, healthy meal.

IT Tender staffers were aware that Jericho wasn’t attending school. They also knew he was begging on jeepneys, the ubiquitous buses of Manila’s public transportation system, and using a lovely singing voice to boost his cause. (This YouTube video, posted by a jeepney passenger, has garnered more than 200,000 views: IT Tender discourages children from begging, but couldn’t help being impressed by Jericho’s resourcefulness – he begged, he explained, so he could buy clothes that his family couldn’t otherwise afford.

IT Tender uses Night Life to refer children on to another one of its programs, Sponsor-A-Child Now (SACN). SACN helps children like Jericho return to school by covering the costs of uniforms, supplies, transportation and lunches, and providing extracurricular activities such as educational field trips and family retreats.

This year, thanks to a new sponsor, Jericho was able to enter the SACN program and enroll in grade 6. He graduated from elementary school in April, is no longer begging and dreams of becoming a doctor. As long as he remains committed to the program, his sponsorship is expected to continue through his high school years.

“I am grateful because I was chosen to be a sponsored child,” Jericho recently told IT Tender staff. “I hope I will learn so much from you and the program. May God bless you.”

Learn more about IT Tender at If you are interested in sponsoring a child to go to school, your support can be set up through Extreme Response by contacting IT Tender’s John Coffey at

Robinson’s Journey: From Robbery to Successful Student

Robinson working

IMG_3110By Mark Ghesquiere, MD, CCFP,                                                                                                 Extreme Response Canada Board


Pacoche is a small village on the coast of Ecuador. You probably have never heard of it. Most Ecuadorians have not either. It’s the sort of town where the municipal water is turned on for one day every 15 days. Life is not easy in Pacoche.

But Pacoche is not forgotten.

Fabian and Graciella Buenaventura felt a calling to go to this small town to establish Casa de Dios and do the best they could to improve the future of this town. Their 11 years in Pacoche have not been easy, but they have seen many positive changes. Homes and cisterns have been built, children are being taught, and people are being loved and cared for.

But where I noticed the biggest change was in the youth. Let me tell you about just one of them. His name is Robinson. He is 16 years old and I share this story with his permission.

RobinsonRobinson has not had an easy life. According to Robinson, his father is abusive, drinks too much alcohol, and has had many relationship problems in his marriage. Not surprisingly, Robinson reacted to his difficult home situation by turning to his peers. This did not improve his situation. He, too, started to drink, got involved in robbery and was heading down a destructive path. His prospects were dim.

Thankfully, his grandmother attended Casa de Dios. From the time he was four years old, his grandmother would take him to Casa de Dios. Robinson enjoyed the social aspects of Casa de Dios, but that was it.

Robinson endured a particularly difficult time recently. His parents were separated and he was faced with having to drop out of San Lorenzo High School because his father would not pay for his schooling. One day Robinson was flipping through radio channels when he came upon a radio broadcast. Something happened inside him. He knew he needed to find the truth. He turned to Fabian and Graciella for answers.

Since that time Robinson has been spending a lot of time helping out at Casa de Dios, but more importantly, he is growing and learning.

He recently worked alongside an Extreme Response team from Canada. The team members were so impressed with him that they decided they would personally invest in this young mans life. I can tell you that he is in 2013-11-29 at 12-06-09school and doing well. He is still a hardworking young man and he is applying himself to his studies. Robinson’s life has changed. And there isn’t one participant in this story who can take all or even most of the credit. Robinson’s life has been changed because many people did what they felt called to do.

The future of Pacoche — and Robinson — is looking bright.

I’m honored to have met you Robinson, best wishes, and remember that many people are cheering you on.

Mark Ghesquiere, MD, CCFP, is a physician in Ontario, Canada, chairman of the board for Extreme Response Canada, and a frequent traveler to high-poverty areas in order to provide support. Learn more about ER Canada and about Casa de Dios.

Changing Fear into Confidence

RamilThanks to Youth Mobilization’s Loving Approach, a Once-Fearful 5-Year-Old Has Blossomed into a Star Student

Youth Mobilization (Youth Mob), an ER partner near Manila, Philippines, helps further the education of children through its Abot Pag-ibig (Reach Out with Love) program. Ramil is one such student whose life is being changed by the program.

Youth Mob first met Ramil during the ER Christmas party last year. Out of 40 children who received gifts of school supplies, toys and hygiene items, he stood out because he cried incessantly. Youth Mob staff met his mother, Dacelyn, and learned of Ramil’s insecurity. When he was in a group situation, she said, he feared he would lose her.

Ramil and DacelynYouth Mob arranged for Ramil, 5, to enroll in Abot Pag-ibig, which serves children in an impoverished community called Taguig. The program’s year-long curriculum teaches children to discover self-worth and find love among their families, friends and community. For Ramil, that meant giving him ample attention and encouraging him to participate in group lessons and activities.

“We noticed that he gradually joined in activities and lesson discussions,” says Youth Mob’s Mackie Custodio. “As we go through lessons on building strong values in children, we are starting to see good changes in his character and how he communicates to the group.”

Dacelyn also sees evidence of change in her increasingly confident son. Week after week, she says, Ramil comes home excited to tell her about the lessons and show off his activity sheets. He’s even agreed to play a role in an upcoming school play.

“We desire that, little by little, we will produce hope-filled children through values formation in this poor community,” Custudio says. “We want to build strong relationships with these families and show them that we care for their children. We want to know their deepest needs and find ways to help them.”

To learn more about Youth Mobilization and other ER partners in Asia, visit