Can I volunteer at the orphanage ?
Volunteering at the orphanage is possible, but there are strict rules. You have to commit to an extended period of time, preferably a minimum of three months. You live at the orphanage 24/7. You get food and board as the only compensation. There will be a screening process. But there are no costs involved at your end. Speaking a bit of Spanish is necessary.
Can I visit the orphanage ?
Yes you can. MJM is authorized to set up a tour of the facility and we will personally show you around and introduce you to all the children. There are specific times and days available to visit to make sure we don't interrupt daily routines. Also, no groups larger than 4 people. Just send an email to request a tour and we'll make it happen. This is the mural that you will see at the gate.
How does an adoption process work and what are the rules?
Adoption is possible and encouraged, but not handled by the orphanage staff themselves.
Any adoption request is forwarded to an agency supervised by the government,
but the orphanage will be a constant presence and help between parents and child during the process.
Adoption rules and restrictions are not set by the orphanage but by the - constantly changing - laws of Ecuador.
About two years ago - with me and about half the children living at the orphanage. Since then, only 3 out of the current 72 have been adopted.
Can I sponsor an individual child or a specific general need ?
MJM concentrates mainly on solving crisis moments that could endanger the entire orphanage community.
If you feel the need to help one child's personal needs (medicine,education,etc,) we can discuss it with you.
Plus we have set up music classes, English classes, library visits, birthday gifts, movie nights , etc...
If you would like to contribute to any of those (like donating guitars, keyboards, books in Spanish, videos),
we can find people to mule them to Ecuador. (Used) Laptops are also very much needed for the kids who attend the nearby school.
Is MJM an officially registered foundation ?
Yes. MJM is an officially registered non profit foundation, based in The Netherlands. Here's the official information :
STICHTING MJM - RSIN 8581.90.977.
9712 XJ Groningen
Every board member is an unpaid volunteer.
Board members :
Erwin Musper - President
Cornelia Delarue - Treasurer
Jan Arend van der Linde - Vice President
Carla Geveke - Secretary
Anita van der Laan - Member
Is MJM taking a percentage of the donations ?
We are spending 100 % of the donations received on the needs of the orphanage. Everyone involved with MJM is an unpaid volunteer. Our policy is as follows : We constantly communicate with mamita Isabel - the founder of the orphanage - regarding the highest priorities on her list of necessary improvements or urgent needs. We pick one from her list that we think is within our financial reach, and establish a budget. The next step is raising the funds for that specific project. When we get close, we assemble a qualified crew and shop for the necessary building materials. We pay the wages and the invoices directly to the people involved. No blank check is given to the orphanage. Every dollar spent is accounted for. So far, this policy has worked without a glitch. Every project we took on has been successfully completed. Unfortunately, their wish list is still quite long and priorities are constantly changing because of unexpected events. Like the earthquake.
Is MJM physically present at the orphanage ?
We are there almost every day and the staff has our phone number on speed dial.
In a case of an unexpected crisis moment - day or night - we are on the premises within 9 minutes.
Can I freely reuse excerpts from this website ?
MJM encourages the use of its publications for sharing or informational purposes. Just keep in mind that all excerpts or quotes are protected by copyright laws. We kindly ask from you to notify us when you want to reproduce a MJM publication, in whole or in part and in any format or means of delivery, including print or electronic. Permission for non-commercial purposes will then be granted free of charge. You have to credit your source material. It is forbidden to use all or part of our publications to raise money directly. Please direct any potential donor to our website.