Join us this Friday to welcome Boris Salinas, CEO of Dunamis, a non-profit organization in Quito, Ecuador serving underaged girls who have been rescued from sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and violence - teaching them life skills while providing a Christian-centered environment that's focused on enabling them to reintegrate into the world as healthy young women. You can join us in person at LeMeridien or via Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86202979419
Boris and his wife Fernanda met in their twenties while volunteering at a camp for children with special needs, and determined they were called by God to serve young people in need. They soon married and began their work by serving poor children every Friday from the community of Angamarca, a small city near Sangolqui, about 25 km. from Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Their work extended into Quito with a breakfast group with troubled girls, and Boris and Fernanda came up with the idea of helping them develop some life skills. They started with tagua jewelry workshops as Boris knew the skill already - and as organizations began to sell the jewelry to help take care of the girls, got professional training for the girls.
Dunamis was founded in 2010 - starting with training classes and Bible studies, and progressing to actually provide a home environment for girls to recover from exploitation. Today, about 15 under-age girls reside in Zoe’s Home on an 11-acre compound under the care of Boris, Fernanda and a specialized professional staff. There they learn the Word of God, receive counseling, and learn life skills such as sewing, beauty, tagua jewelry making and agriculture (including the operation of a greenhouse growing golden berries for export to the US). The girls also continue their education and have medical and psychological help.
Jackie Cuthbert and Susan and Bob Schwall were introduced to Boris and Dunamis through the Big Canoe Chapel's annual mission conference in 2018 - as one of their grant recipients for the year. Susan and Jackie have visited Dunamis twice while in Ecuador enjoying trips to the Galapagos. They were touched by meeting the girls and getting a strong sense of the peace and self-worth that Dunamis imparts to these girls. It was amazing to see them be able to be at ease, giggling and interacting as children after all they've been through.
Boris, his wife and three children live on the 11-acre compound. They are looking to expand their work - by building another house on the compound and more in a new property they hope to acquire in the south part of Ecuador. In addition to their work with rescued youth, they are working with the community to help with other situations of domestic abuse and to create awareness of trafficking issues and God's word.
They are on a month-long visit to the US - connecting with current and potential supporters, including Rotary, and premiering a new documentary that tells Dunamis' story.