What a UK network of students has done for relief efforts in Ecuador

Francisco Abad is a One Young World Ambassador from Ecuador who is part of the organizing team of SOS Ecuador, a fund raising campaign for the victims of the earthquake in Ecuador.

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Ecuadorian students after the first meeting with 8 universities

The earthquake of April 16 ravaged Ecuador’s Pacific coast, injured around 12,500 people and left 58 missing, making it the worst earthquake that the country has seen in nearly seven decades.

With nearly 7,000 buildings destroyed, more than 26,000 people were living in shelters.

All six coastal provinces - Guayas, Manabi, Santo Domingo, Los Rios, Esmeraldas and Galapagos - are in state of emergencies after the quake that measured 7.8 on the Richter scale.

As soon as I heard the news, I felt compelled to jump on a plane in order to contribute to relief and reconstruction efforts on the ground.

Taking off to Ecuador isn’t exactly feasible for me or for my fellow Ecuadorians. Instead, we organised relief efforts from the UK where our student network was able to create a massive decentralized campaign to collect relief funds. We received full support and endorsement from our Embassy in the UK and went straight to work in raising funds. We not only met our initial fundraising goal of £8,000, but surpassed it in less than 12 hours when we reached £10,000! In less than 6 days, we had collected more than £25,000 and as a result have increased our goal to £50,000.

Together we can make a difference

As much as we want to be on the ground in Ecuador, that isn’t possible. But through the power of our networks we can contribute to the reconstruction of Ecuador’s most affected areas. To date, our movement has the support of Ecuadorian students from more than 25 UK universities, not to mention the global support network that is still growing; a global support network that we hope will include you. We’re now asking you to contribute to our efforts just like the Ecuadorian community-based organisations have this past week.

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Community organized events this weekend

We’re inviting you to use the campaign as an umbrella platform, like various UK initiatives have. We believe that together we can make an impact because:

1) We have the official support of the Ecuadorian Embassy in the UK, which is actually promoting our platform to their own networks. Moreover, the bank account in the campaign is the one the embassy opened for donations specifically for the earthquake. This is important because this account will allow us to avoid transaction costs and leave money with intermediaries.

2) The platform is online, giving ease of use and collection to people who want to pay by card and not bank transfer.

3) The money will go directly to Ecuador via the embassy, and it will go do a disaster relief fund specifically to the victims. We will personally make sure this money is spent on relief support and reconstruction of the affected areas and not in administrative costs or salaries.   

4) Donations through bank transfer to the embassy don’t show anywhere, but helping our campaign shows the growth and seriousness of it, helping it grow exponentially, and the donor will get special recognition as the name shows in the site (unless you choose to donate anonymously).

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Spokespeople team reaches out to the community


How you can help:

1) Use this image as cover picture on Facebook and Twitter (include the link to donate in the description!)

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2) Change your profile picture with the Ecuadorian flag watermarked using this link.

3) Share a personal message in your language to your social networks through Facebook and Twitter, asking them to donate here.

4) Ask your close friends to donate and share in private messages!

5) Help us by searching the hashtags #SOSEcuador and #‎FuerzaEcuador and liking the posts about the campaign (the more like, the more visible the campaign!)

6) Don’t cancel your trip to Ecuador, it’s totally safe (if you weren’t planning on coming, you really should, you’ll never regret it!)

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Don’t cancel your trip to Ecuador


Other ways to get involved:

Give me 5 for Ecuador: http://www.giveme5forecuador.com/ (money goes to Techo para mi pais, a reputable NGO in Latin America)
Aqui me tienes Ecuador: https://www.gofundme.com/qnzs9ye8 (same as SOS Ecuador but in Spain – we’ve been working with them as well)
Ecuador’s Red Cross: http://www.cruzroja.org.ec/


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate on contacting me at [email protected]

*This blog has been edited to better reflect the collective efforts of the UK network working towards the relief efforts of the earthquake in Ecuador.