The trust (AFET) is wholly devoted to the support of rural school children in Ecuador via the charity Voluntarios de Occidente (VDO).
Money is raised throughout the year by individual supporters and by
AFET at Christmas when cards, designed by children in Ecuador, are
sold with almost 100% of the money going to the charity.
Gladys, a student supported by the Andrew Finch Education Trust, has been awarded top honours in her final year at secondary school in Mocha.
At a ceremony which is the oath or commitment with the national flag, Gladys carried the School Flag after finishing 3rd best in her year. The top three students with the highest scores during the whole secondary have the honour of carrying the flags of Ecuador, the City and the School. Each flag has also two escorts - a total of the nine best students among 64 in the last year and 500 in the complete school.
Each student wears a band for the ceremony and as a memory of this day. The band is set by the parents and is an important momento in the ceremony. Gladys has been very grateful for all the support and so she invited Gonzalo and Maria Teresa to the ceremony and putting on of the band along with her parents.
For Gladys to be able to study it was necessary to give full support, so both Gladys and her family are very aware that their study would not have been possible without the help of the Program, her godfather Alan and former volunteer Sarah.
Gladys has earned all this help, not only for her but also for her two smaller siblings, working as local volunteer in the Andrew Finch Centre for the last four years.
On the 21st August 2012, the 8th Festival in memory of Andrew was held in Ecuador.
Adrienne and Ann travelled over from England and John Potts (an old friend of Andrew's who now lives in Euador) was also in attendance. For the occasion, Gonzalo trained a choir of 15 girls and boys to sing at the event which was a great success. Gonzalo Alarcon from Voluntarios de Occidente said "Each year we celebrate the life on Andrew with a festival. With this festival we also thanks to the family and friends of Andrew Finch for all the help and support to the projects."