who we are

The Andrew Finch Education Trust is wholly devoted to the support of rural school children in Ecuador via the charity Voluntarios de Occidente (VDO).

We aim to break the cycle of poverty of the rural poor in Ecuador via the support of education, health and welfare of children in Ecuador. We started fundraising in 2003 and gained charitable status in 2007. 

Children in rural communities tend to leave school as soon as possible to go to work on the streets or the land earning very little. They drop out of school because their parents can't afford to keep them there or because their English and computer skills are not good enough to continue into secondary educations. We have successfully supported children into young adulthood for many years.

During the pandemic of 2020-2021 the schools in Ecuador closed and children had to learn online. We have funded laptops and PCs for secondary school children and tablets for primary children and paid for their internet expenses. Without this support the children's education would have stopped for over a year. In 2022 children returned to physical schooling, and our charity continues to support the poor families within the area of Techo Propio with education and computer resources, extra classes, a lending library, funding for essential food and medical expenses and support with wifi costs.

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Christmas card competition


Our main fundraising campaign every year is our Christmas campaign, which we have been running for almost 20 years!! Most years the children we support take part in a Christmas card competition, and the winning design gets printed in the UK and sold to our supporters.

In May 2022 we held our first competition since 2019 as it was not possible to run the competition during the lockdowns. The standard of cards was so high it was really difficult to choose a winner so we have decided to print four different designs.

Ros completes Surrey half marathon

10 mile run

Following a fairly gruelling 12 week training programme Ros did the Surrey half marathon on 26 September in less than 3 hours! It was hard, but with lots of support along the way it was also fun! She hit her fundraising target and would like to thank everyone who sponsored her.

Fundraising 2020-21

We have had to think very creatively in order to raise money during the pandemic, as our normal fundraising involves very sociable events which are now not allowed. Here are the 3 ways we raised money this year and last

Adrienne's 2 bridge drives had to be cancelled so she 3 online ones instead! Obviously on line bridge is not as sociable as playing face-to-face, on the other hand it is a great deal less work with our not having to put tables up and get tea ready for 40 people. 

Several of you decluttered and sold your 2nd hand books to raise funds. We would like to thank you very much for your support as this raised money at a time when we weren’t at all sure that we still could. To find out more see the panel on the right


Ros hits her running target

Ros did her first 10 mile run last October and this was much harder than she anticipated! She was supported by a team from St Johns Running Club which enabled her to complete the run and smash her fundraising target.

She is now in training for her first half marathon, The Surrey Half on 26th September.

You can sponsor her here.  

BA OR Reunion raises money for AFET



Over 70 faces from the British Airways OR department past and present recently gathered for a reunion. As well as catching up with old friends, it was a chance to remember Andrew and to raise money for AFET. Through ticket sales and a raffle, over £480 was raised for the charity.

Top Honours for AFET student



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.

VIII Festival in memory of Andrew

Andrew festival

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."

Gonzalo's choir





  • Newsletter #34 Nov 2022,
  • Our latest newsletter is now available with updates on the Andrew Finch Centre and a special outing for the community
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