UBECI's market programme had been interrupted due to restrictions put in place to contain the spread of Covid 19. Families have been hit hard by the loss of income as they are have only recently been able to return to work in the markets. This project will fund a further year of the salary of an outreach worker who can now return to work in the UBECI playgroups in the markets of Southern Quito, providing support to 600 working children.
Quito's markets have a high incidence of working children. These children face poverty, lack of education, abuse, neglect, and poor health . In the current crisis, many of the families UBECI supports are not allowed to work in the markets. Confined to small spaces, it is very difficult for these families to remain at home for long and accept the disappearance of their already meagre income, with children paying the consequences given the increase in cases of domestic abuse under lockdown.
The outreach workers adapted their services during the pa, helping the children by telephone, providing emotional support, health and other advice, homework assistance. The outreach workers can now resume their work in the markets offering support to vulnerable children and families to prevent school desertion during and after the pandemic.
During school closures it is more important than ever to work with families to ensure they prioritise their children's education. We need to ensure that ViaNinos' and UBECI's achievements over the past years in: Reducing working hours amongst the children; Growing school enrolment, academic achievement, preventing desertion; Providing medical care are not lost, but continue in the market playgroups as activities resume.
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