Manos de Compasión
Manos de Compasión
Not-for-profitYear launched: 2004
Country of Operation
Target income level
- Bottom 20%
- Primary care
SummaryManos de Compasión is a Christian non-profit organization. It has developed and successfully maintained a health program based upon the voluntary work of international and national medical specialists, donations, and little financing.
Provide humanitarian services and healthcare to rural Ecuadorian communities.
Key program components
**Medical brigades:** Once a year, a group of voluntary medical staff from the United States arrive with medication and conduct at least three daily medical visits in different regions. The brigades offer services based out of schools or churches within the community. Brigades are able to serve between 200 and 300 individuals per visit and services and medication provided is absolutely free-of-charge. In addition, they are able to identify those individuals in need of continued treatment for illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension, and provide this follow-up to them for free within the clinic. Manos de Compasión also conducts dentistry brigades thanks to an agreement with the University of Guayaquil and with the help from the Norwegian Alliance Mission (which supported transportation rental). In 2009, for a period of six months, a group of 30 last-year orthodontic students freely provided their services through 30 dentistry brigades which included treatment, extractions, orthodontics, preventative care, and education for adults and children. Medical and dentistry brigades have also been delivered to the women’s prison and correctional adolescent and youth centers. **Health center:** Thanks to the Church of God in Cary, USA, and to a group of doctors from that church, Manos de Compasión was able to construct a clinic in Guayaquil in 2004. The church helps fund the administrative and operational needs of the clinic through board-sponsored fundraising in the United States. Services provided at the clinic include orthodontic, pediatric, optometric, general medicine, respiratory therapy, and matrimonial counseling. The clinic’s staff consists of three paid medical professionals; other personnel assist voluntarily for a morning or one day per week. Manos de Compasión receives support from various institutions which donate frames for glasses, medication, wheelchairs, etc. They also maintain agreements with laboratories and orthodontic consultations, which charge only for material costs. In addition, Manos de Compasión trains health promoters who are able to operate between the communities and health clinic. The organization is currently operating a program alongside the Red Cross in which at least 120 promoters will be trained The first community visit was conducted 14 years ago, and the organization was established officially within the country 7 years ago. Dr. Carlos Tinajero Leon, the pastor of a Guayaquil church, was responsible for making the project more sustainable and better structured. Because of his work contracts were established with numerous doctors affiliated with the church in order to guarantee their voluntary service for a determined period of time. The only costs involved include transportation and the day’s food. Oftentimes, it is the population itself which collects funds for this purpose (or sponsorship is sought). Manos de Compasión serves approximately 6,000 patients annually.