There are noble tasks in life: the one that is from parents to their children, from children to their parents, the one between family members and also the one belonging to friendly hands that help, provide care, warmth and happiness at all times. In Guayaquil there is an institution which circumscribes to the last one: AEI is a friend foundation.
On May 30, 1986, with great determination and with deep consciousness of social support, Amanda de Hidalgo and Dr. Pablo Zunino, created AEI a foundation to help terminally ill patients. They had the idea of establishing the institution because Amanda’s mother died with cancer, so she felt how hard is to have a relative with a terminal illness and she felt the physical, mental and financial difficulty while having a loved one in that condition.
The foundation started in Guayaquil in Centenario neighborhood, a humble little house welcomed patients who were picked from the street, AEI became known quickly upon charitable institutions such as the Rotary Club and “Junta de Beneficencia” that collaborated in order to build the current facilities which are located at Av. Roberto Gilbert and Democracia.
This place hosts 60 people in terminal stage; the majority of current patients have cancer, because since 15 years ago the foundation has an agreement with Solca, which sends poor patients in terminal stage to AEI, in this place they receive free nursing service, meals, laundry, room service, and a general doctor who observes all patients.
The relationship between volunteers and patients reflects the hope and joy they feel while sharing solidarity and affection between the members of that community. The Foundation’s primary mission is to help patients in terminal stage, however, 15 years ago they “hosted eight disabled children which were left with sequel of cerebral palsy, their parents had dumped them in hospitals,” said Melba Pasos de Ruíz, board president of AEI, who assured that the children were adopted by the foundation as their own sons, “All the patients that we have at the moment have family, except the children.”
AEI has created an acyl to sustain the foundation that area is a pensioner so they take money to pay the many expenses that the institution has, also it received assistance from the Municipality, Supermaxi, Government, and several NGOs, even though they do not earn enough to cover all expenses. Annually they also make a public collection and a bingo.
It is possible for helping hands to help the foundation. You can give donations (what they need the most are medicine and diapers), you can care patients or simply brighten their days with some happy activities for the group.