This week is my first working at Fundacion FUDIS. I moved in on Monday and got the lowdown from Ines, the resident activities coordinator/psychologist. It was a lot to take in, but luckily she speaks slowly so I was able to understand most of what she was telling me. (Wheaton friends, I'm sorry to report that she is not as awesome as Inez, the Emerson Queen. A disspointment, but could anyone really top her?)
FUDIS is essentially a foundation has been privately funded by the directora, Amparo, and her wealthy friends. Though it’s been around for about ten years, three years ago FUDIS started a huge fundraising campaign to raise money for the new building that I currently call home. Amparo appeared on tv, the radio, billboards, the works asking for donations, so she’s a pretty well-known figure in Quito. The building provides housing to patients who are being treated at the cancer hospital, SOLCA, down the street. The first floor has offices, a large industrial kitchen, dining room, chapel, and doctor’s office. The second floor has dormitory-style rooms for the patients and their families, private rooms for people like me who live and work here, an activity room, and a tv/lounge room. FUDIS can accommodate around 60 people, which is pretty impressive.
All of the patients who stay here are referred by the social worker at SOLCA. Most of them are from out of town and either don’t have the funds to rent an apartment for the duration of their treatment or aren’t able to travel home while on treatment. The mission of FUDIS is to provide a safe and supportive home for the patients and their caregivers for the duration of their treatment. FUDIS believes in total well-being; physical, psychological and spiritual. There’s a weekly schedule of activities which include games, occupational therapy, group therapy and prayer hour. I’ll be leading some of these activities in the future, but for now I’m just observing Ines to get an idea of what a typical day is like here.