The Sunrise+ project began with activities aimed at supporting young people aged 14 to 18 on a pathway towards rediscovering their specific needs and implementing projects for recovery and change.
Teenagers from the communities of Macarà, Sàlima and 10 de Agosto (in the province of Esmeraldas, one of the poorest regions in Ecuador) are the protagonists of the Sunrise+ project’s sharing and training sessions. They are girls and boys living in vulnerable situations, in communities outside the cities, who often have to give up part of their study time, if not abandon their studies completely to help support their families. One of the most disturbing aspects of this situation is the fact that those who cannot find a job often end up becoming victims of the drug world, either as users or dealers.
Sunrise+ offers a course that applies the “6×1” methodology proposed by the “Teens for Unity” which allows them to observe the difficulties they have reported with a critical eye, from the need to have greater respect for nature to problems linked to where they live, including waste and bad roads or insufficient means to study and build their own future. Moreover, this methodology allows the young people themselves to become active citizens with respect to the problems and proposes solutions by involving adults, community leaders, testing their skills in managing resources, goods and relationships which will serve the community and help them in general in their lives.
All their vulnerabilities emerged in the initial meetings but also their desire to change their own situations.
From all the testimonies we have heard we can see that the boys and girls of Esmeraldas want to have space and ways to live their youth serenely. They want to be able to study, have space for sport or artistic activities which at the moment are almost non-existent and be able to imagine a future that doesn’t meant leaving the area to get a decent job.