July 11th marks the United Nations World Population Day. This year, their theme is the impact COVID-19 has had on women; in particular, their access to sexual and reproductive healthcare. As a female-owned company, this is something we want to draw attention to.
The knock-on effect of this pandemic goes further than we realise. According to statistics, the people most affected tend to be women and children. We have all heard of the industries suffering the most and the implications on a broad scale. But what about at a deeper level?
Take fashion, for example. We have all read the news articles about brands not paying their suppliers. Sadly, the knock on effect of this means a lot of women are out of work, or not getting paid.
For those in less developed countries and working in the factories, this is a catastrophic situation.
Pregnant women whos healthcare is dependant on their employment; children whos only hot meals come from school lunches; single-parent families. They are all suffering from the implications of this pandemic in ways a lot of us may not have realised.
Introducing Fundación Jesús Divino Preso
As much as we wish we could, we can’t set the world right. But we can start where we feel most connected.
For us, this is a foundation based in Ecuador that gives children a second chance at life. It is called the Fundación Jesús Divino Preso.
This ONG started by rescuing children that were born and living in prisons with their mothers. These children were given safe homes, food and an education. These kids were born into circumstances out of their control, with no hope of escape. This new support system allows the children to fulfil their potential and break the destructive cycle.
As stereotypical as it may sound, the youth are the future. The more opportunities and compassion we show them today, the brighter the future will be for the individual and as a result, the world.
As the influence of the Fundación Jesús Divino Preso grew, they were able to offer more support to children in poorer areas of the country.
So far, the foundation has helped over 100 children graduate high school. The ONG is now supporting those young adults through university.
Our Ongoing Support
Haugan Cruises is incredibly honoured to be supporting the Fundación Jesús Divino Preso. Sadly, the pandemic has put a pause on our plans with the charity. But we are excited for things to start again.
As well as offering financial support, we are developing a space on our website to promote the work the charity does. For those in University, we will be offering internships at Haugan Cruises across a number of our departments.
It has always been a value of ours that we support local talent. All our employees in the Galapagos Islands and at Hotel Palmazul are Ecuadorian. We use Ecuadorian products where possible. Our owner is an Ecuador tourism ambassador.
We are incredibly proud of who we are, and we offer support where we can.
Back on the mainland, in Hotel Palmazul, we offer free English lessons to the local kids. The lessons are led by local native English speakers that live in the community.
Not many Ecuadorians speak English, so this is an excellent opportunity for the kids to expand their knowledge and give them options.
The lessons are every Saturday morning. We provide a classroom, learning materials and lunch for both the teachers and students. This particular initiative is so dear to us, as it not only gives young children hope, it brings together our community.
Blue Skies Ahead
Everyone is in a difficult position right now. But we can’t forget the smaller charities that do amazing work. As a worldwide community, we have (mostly) come together to protect those at high risk. We have all contributed to “flattening the curve” and made sacrifices.
We hope that as our borders open and we slowly start to find our rhythms again, that we don’t forget about those that are in dire situations.
If we are to take anything from the UNs World Population Day, and the pandemic, it is that the smallest act of kindness can make a change. Here are a few ways you can make a difference:
Donate feminine hygiene products
Donate baby supplies such as nappies and food
Get involved with local charities trying to get hot meals to children
Donate food or toiletries to charities offering relief in less developed countries
If you have any other ideas or charities that you feel need some extra promotion, let us know, and we’ll do our best to reshare it.
Who knows, maybe the next time you book with us, you will be lucky enough to meet one of our incredible interns.