STREET CHILDREN CENTRE IN QUITO
Street Children Centres are an oasis of tranquility for the local children. Around 250 children, aged from 7 to 14 years old, attend the Centre, usually attending school in the mornings and then the centre for lunch and homework with supervision from the volunteer helpers and other staff. Others (around 50) attend school in the afternoons so spend the mornings at the school doing their homework, playing and also getting a decent lunch.
These vulnerable street children come from poor homes often associated with abuse, drugs and violence and areas where it is not safe nor desirable for them to hang around during the day. This wonderful Centre, run by nuns, opens up its doors to the children so that they have a safe place where they can be encouraged to do their homework and receive some moral guidance.
In addition, the street children get a lunch and a croissant before going home guaranteeing them with at least one meal Monday to Friday. The Centre has a calm and happy atmosphere and the staff are all very caring and give the children security and love which they may otherwise be lacking in.
Many of the street children are encouraged to take a shower at the Centre as a daily shower may not be available at home.
Why volunteer help is needed at the street children centre
This street children centre does not get any help from the Government so they need to rely on funds from the Church to help them pay their bills and their few staff. Volunteers are very much appreciated for helping supervise the homework and helping the street children with any problems they have. The more helpers they have, the more attention they can give to the street children.
The volunteers help the street children with their English and also with other subjects like Maths, History and Sciences. They can also share with the children any special skills that they have like drawing, dancing or a specific sport. During the school holidays, sometimes the street children are taken out to a park or to play football or volleyball but this depends on having enough helpers to accompany the children.
Where you will stay
You will stay with a Spanish speaking host family in the centre of Quito and catch the local bus (25 cents each way) daily to the South of Quito where this project is located.
What to do in your spare time
Travel anywhere within Quito by bus costs just 25cents! Quito is a very interesting city to explore with its Old Town (one of the first places to be designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO) with many historic buildings, churches and museums, as well as the TeleferiQo – an aerial tram which will take you up to 4,100 m above Quito with an amazing panoramic view of the City and the mountains that surround it, including a view of the iconic Cotapaxi volcano. Situated on the Equator, Quito has a Park called Mitad del Mundo with small museum exhibits, restaurants, craft shops. It is a good place to go on a Sunday as they have many different dancers entertaining the crowds. There are many things to do in Quito so plan your time off carefully to see as much as you can.
Travel by bus is very cheap on mainland Ecuador and it is possible to travel the country for very little money: for example a 4 hour coach ride from Quito to Banos costs just US$4! You can plan your weekends to visit the craft market at Otavelo, the leather town of Cotacachi, the thermal springs at Banos, the coast…..
For general advice on travelling to Ecuador, check out the FCO Advice for Ecuador
|Prices||Whats included||Whats not included|
|4 weeks min £1,045||Airport pick up by taxi and delivery to host family in Quito||Flights to Ecuador|
|5 weeks £1,120||Spanish School in Quito for first week||Travel Insurance|
|6 weeks £1,195||Accommodation for 4 weeks with Ecuadorian Spanish speaking family in own room with shared bathroom||Local travel (25 cents / 15 p for bus to anywhere in city)|
|7 weeks £1,270||Placement at the project||Spending money|
|8 weeks £1,345||24 hour local contact||Return taxi to airport|
|9 weeks £1,420||Comprehensive orientation on arrival||Vaccinations|
|10 weeks £1,495|
|11 weeks £1,570|
|12 weeks £1,645|