• Sylvia Metzler

Make a difference

We start the second year of our time at Pan de Vida and look again at the big goal that we had set ourselves together before leaving

Making a difference for the better for the people of Ecuador.

And we are grateful and happy that we can tell you so much about what has become possible through your sending out, your support and your being on the way with us.

The head of Pan de Vida , Oscar reported:

"We have long been praying for reinforcements in the team. But we did not know exactly what kind of support we would need." So much is needed in a small relief organization with big tasks. And then came the pandemic. Employees from all over the world have been withdrawn from locations such as Ecuador and brought home. And precisely at this time, the need grew, unemployment, hopelessness, hunger, and also the rush of people looking for help at Pan de Vida grew .

And that was the moment when you dared to send us out. The timing couldn't be better, in times of social distancing and fear of contagion, Pan de Vida had to improve many processes and switch to online processes. Most of the employees were in the home office and a lot was archived on paper in the aid organization.

This is how Oscar reported to us:

"All the big countries USA, Germany, Canada have withdrawn volunteers and all the big relief organizations have closed their gates. For us it was almost certain that the Metzlers would not come either." And then from Austria - which almost nobody here knows - the support we have longed for came from Help that Arrives , PDV's smallest partner. "

And so our work began exactly a year ago at Pan de Vida .

Daniel was first able to implement very current needs for digitization together with the team. Because the pandemic regulations were strict and direct contact had to be reduced to a minimum.

Did you know that in Quito even very poor people usually have access to the digital world. Families share a cell phone and there is more and more free internet in public places.

Pan de Vida started a Facebook group, where the latest information was passed on to families, encouragement and practical help were shared on a weekly basis.

An online form was made available to give quick and targeted help in acute emergency situations. People were able to register for the microbusiness project from home and take part in online training courses and networking meetings via Zoom and also receive help from a personal couch or the social worker.

But Pan de Vida started again with on-site registrations after a few weeks of remote care. That was important for everyone who was overwhelmed by digitization . But this registration was no longer on paper either. Because the subsequent processing effort was too high. But since computers are also an expensive shortage, the registration process was carried out on the helpers' private cell phones and the data was fed directly into Pan de Vida's system .

Earlier application: 
So far, Pan de Vida has filled out the "Application para Ayuda" (APA) form on paper and copied the applicant's official documents with a copier and stored them in a folder. (Photo folder, folders, box). Then it took an average of 14 days until the data was viewed and the most important information was stored in an Excel list and was accessible to the other employees.

Application today :  Today, the Typeform online survey program is used to collect all data via smartphone or laptop and upload the official documents . On average it takes approx . 2 hours , until all the data are available for further use for all employees .

In the next phase, the strengths were bundled in order to achieve improvements and simplifications in all work areas. The modernization of the processes and procedures had become indispensable.

Did you know that Pan de Vida covers a very wide range of areas?

You can find out what the ten employees cover below.

The stated goal was:

We want to help more people in need sustainably and efficiently AND the time of the local employees should be more free to be in personal contact with the people who are looking for help.

Why did this goal come about:

Did you know that major donors require very detailed reports , every donation must be precisely documented and full transparency prevail at all times . This detailed documentation is also necessary in order to be able to pass the state control .

Every person, every family that is accepted into the Pan de Vida program must be carefully examined and evaluated.

The donations should reach families who actually need it, where the need is greatest.

All of the documentation work and communication is a heavy burden on the team.

Optimizing and simplifying processes and retrieving data has become Daniel's main area of ​​responsibility and work.

And so, last year, the hours of paperwork that had to be done could be transferred to programs and effectively fed into the system.

Did you know : 
whenever donations are missing or major donors no longer make commitments , employees at PDV are dismissed again

And to the great joy and amazement of the pandemic year 2020/2021, the number of families looked after by Pan de Vida doubled and at the same time the Ecuadorian team was freed up to have more time for personal support and to help individually.

But we're not done yet.

It is planned that Daniel will introduce a modern " Salesforce " operating system by spring 2022 . In the next few months this program is to be adapted to all work areas of PDV. Daniel will train the employees in the handling of the new program and then hand over the supervision to a local employee.

Empowerment of local professionals!

The Ecuadorian team will also be able to enjoy an optimized data process in the future and will work independently and independently with this operating system after our departure

What are we hoping for:

  • The knowledge from employees that a lot is now stored in their heads, on paper and on their cell phones. is entered into the system, the data is no longer lost

  • Easier training and an easier start for new employees is made possible

  • Volunteers can also relieve employees more easily or represent them in the event of illness

  • Sustainable decisions can be made based on the data

  • Current evaluations can be viewed at all times

  • Pan de Vida can deliver significantly more transparency

  • There is considerably more efficiency

  • It enables the vision of several Pan de Vida locations to be approached

  • Networking with other partners and non-profit organizations (NGOs / PWW) is being greatly optimized

  • Data protection is respected

Pan de Vida wants to grow more and reach more people. Together with other NGOs I want to face the need of the world. Tell people about the hope in Jesus and give practical help.

We are enthusiastic about what our Pan de Vida employees bring to the aid organization in terms of quality and passion. Seeing your commitment is a huge motivation for us to push ahead with the modernization of Pan de Vida's data system . Because the employees shouldn't spend their time fighting off mountains of paper, but rather bring their talents to work with people who are looking for help.

The Pan de Vida employees are endowed with many gifts and talents. Our goal is that you can use them with enthusiasm!

Here you can find out more about four of them as examples:


Alex Anrango - MEP project manager:

Alex is a very polite, cheerful and humble young man. He studied agricultural science and is committed to organic agriculture. He speaks Spanish, Quechua and English and works in the Microbusiness Project (MEP).

He is the coordinator for the families who are part of the indigenous population. Alex has their trust and is a role model for many young people through his living Christian. We are happy to be part of the team.

Before : 
Pan de Vida had already successfully started a microbusiness project ( MEP ) in 2019 . After a whole year, 30 MEP projects were in progress, 3 - 4 of which are still working successfully as a company today .  
Today : 
In this special year , after approx .  6 months Micro Business Project  ( MEP ) we could in half the time , already more than twice as many successful current MEP noted .  
The management of so many MEPs is only possible by optimizing the processes and data storage .


Juan Carlos - Social Worker:

Juan Carlos always greets everyone with a spirited and happy "Hola, como estas?" He is the employee with the vast majority of overtime. He knows the problems and difficulties of individual families and people know him. They know he cares and won't let anyone down. Very often he is overwhelmed with requests for help. When he is sitting at his PC in Pan de Vida , the phone rings constantly or people stand at the gate and ask to see him. Without grimacing, he gets up from his seat every time and takes the time to hear the story of the people. And he gives answers, he gives loving, but also urgent advice and practical help, always according to a professional assessment of the situation.

Since he is decisive for a lot of assistance, he must also document these services. Every quarter the employees have to submit an extensive quarterly report with statistics.

Before : 
Juan Carlos invested two weeks of work just to compile the necessary statistics .
Today : 
Currently, this work has been reduced to 1 - 2 hours thanks to digitization .

Jefferson Vivanco - Logistik & Volunteermanager

Jefferson's heart belongs completely to the outreach for Jesus. He is responsible for the maintenance of the building and the communication and organization around all the volunteers. With a lot of empathy and experience, he deals with a wide variety of people who contribute their free time.

Through his good organization and always friendly manner, he has been able to win over many people to work faithfully with him. Pan de Vida enjoys a large volunteer community. Jefferson coordinates that everyone who wants to volunteer is registered and goes through a check. He makes sure that there are enough volunteers on site when they are needed for relief work and that everyone feels appreciated and willing to come back. We are amazed at how he keeps track of this multitude of people and always instructs groups and individuals with a lot of calmness and friendliness.

Previously : 
What a shock it was , as Jefferson the PDV - was stolen on the bus phone . All contacts , notes , current photos were gone . In many hours of work , but he could all the info on Volunteer - carry back together community .
Today :  
All data on the cell phones are constantly synchronized with the PDV cloud storage . 
All cell phones are equipped with security apps so that no sensitive data can leak to strangers even if they are stolen .  
Jeff is working on a new documentation module to have an overview of all information about the full volunteers and to be able to share it in the team .

Sharon - Communication:

Sharon manages to combine competence and humor in one person. It is fun to work with her. Among other things, she is responsible for the area of ​​communication.

It invites the registered people in groups to distribution campaigns, training courses, appointments for medical care and much more. It answers questions and documents registrations and feedback.

Communication is made via a free text messaging service (WhatsApp).

Since WhatsApp is limited by the group size and the handling of individual messages with groups is not possible, Sharon temporarily sent more than 1,000 messages manually every week.

In the past : 
You can imagine that the manual sending of individual messages often took hours / days and was very stressful for Sharon and the team .
Today : 
Using a programmed WhatsApp cockpit, predefined templates can be filled in with personal data and sent automatically . All that is needed is someone to initiate the process .
With God's help and your faithful support, so much has become possible! We are happy about it and send you a heartfelt thank you and wish you God's rich blessings!

We are Daniel Metzler, Sylvia Metzler, Jakob Metzler, Olivia Metzler, Hannes Metzler.

Learn more about mustard seed | The Metzler family at Pan de Vida in Ecuador





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