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Support during lockdown for children in Ecuador

by ViaNinos UK
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Support during lockdown for children in Ecuador
Support during lockdown for children in Ecuador
Support during lockdown for children in Ecuador
Support during lockdown for children in Ecuador
Support during lockdown for children in Ecuador
Support during lockdown for children in Ecuador
Support during lockdown for children in Ecuador
Support during lockdown for children in Ecuador
Support during lockdown for children in Ecuador
Support during lockdown for children in Ecuador
Support during lockdown for children in Ecuador

Thank you again to you all for your continued support of ViaNinos and UBECI, especially at this most difficult of times for the working and street children of the markets of Southern Quito!

Unfortunately the global spread of the Corona pandemic didn’t stop at Ecuador’s doors. The country recorded its first case of Corona virus at the beginning of March. By mid-April Ecuador had become the South American country with the highest infection rate per capita.

The government reacted swiftly with very strict measures – closing schools, total curfew from 2pm to 6am, a complete stop to all but essential activity. In spite of the measures taken, the virus spread at lightning speed.

Whilst we welcome the introduction of ‘social distancing‘ measures, we can’t ignore the impact this is having on the poorest. Confined to small spaces and with hardly any money, it is extremely difficult for poor families to remain at home for long and simply accept the disappearance of what is a meagre income at the best of times, with children especially paying the consequences.

Our partner organisation UBECI writes:

“Many of the families and children we support are no longer allowed to work in the markets, as they are itinerant vendors (although they represent 40% of sellers at the markets). These street vendors earn $ 3-4 a day at the most in normal circumstances. They have now lost the little income they were earning”.

This unfortunately typifies the situation in Ecuador and globally: the poor are hit the hardest by measures taken against the virus, and are at the same time those that can do the least to mitigate the consequences of the epidemic. Unfortunately cases of domestic abuse against women and children have also increased significantly and worryingly since the lockdown started.

Although the Ecuadorian government is trying to offer some relief to poorer families, it has limited resources and can’t offer the sort of support developed countries have.

We can also assume that support for international aid and the willingness to donate to developing countries will suffer as a consequence of the global economic crisis.

Let’s hope that the strict measures taken in Ecuador will soon lead to a visible containment and reduction of the virus’ spread and alleviate suffering of street and working children and their families from both a health and economic point of view.

The outreach workers are continuing their work as best as they can helping the children and their families by telephone with emotional support, health and other advice, and with homework, and providing some food assistance where possible. Think of the challenges of online schooling for these children, whose parents are often illiterate and who at best may have a WhatsApp connection on a relatives’ phone.

It is vital to remain close to these families in this moment of need and assist the children to avoid them dropping out of school now or when the lockdown ends. 

We need to ensure that ViaNinos’ and UBECI’s success over the past years in

Reducing working hours amongst the children

  • Growing school enrollment levels
  • Providing medical care, getting parents involved in their children’s health
  • Educating the children about their rights and how to exercise these

Is not lost, but continues over the phone now and in the market playgroups again later.

At this most difficult of times our partner organisations need our help more than ever and we would really welcome your support.

If you would like to continue supporting the project you may want to consider setting up a recurring donation. Even 5-10 pounds a month would make a difference!

I hope you are all well and are keeping safe in these challenging times.

Thank you.

The ViaNinos Team

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2019 was another successful year for UBECI and their work to help working children access education and basic healthcare.

The number of children enrolled in UBECI’s market playgroups and workshops increased from 686 in 2018 to 770 in 2019.

To mention just a few of the achievements for the year…

  • Opening of the UBECI Children’s Reception centre
  • Further development of the curriculum of the market playgroups and workshops programmes with the support of educational psychologists
  • In 100 workshops the children were taught the importance of creativity, values, organisation and discipline, cooperation, just to mention a few areas of focus…
  • 8 workshops focussed on topics such as
    - encouraging parents to show affection towards their children to foster their confidence
    - the importance of ensuring their children don’t drop out of school and return to work losing
      their chance of receiving an education
  • 8 campaigns benefitting the children, including
    - School bags (80) and Pencil case (156) campaign
    - Social-affective workshops
    - Dental prevention for 280 and Dental care for 22 children
    - Birthday campaign
    - Christmas present campaign (clothes and sweets)
  • 1 more member of staff to provide greater support to the children

UBECI Reception Centre
In 2019 UBECI opened its first Reception Centre following an evaluation carried out in 2018 on future activities needed to consolidate and strengthen its programmes, which identified the need to establish a reception centre open and accessible to the children on all working days.

The Centre was opened to tend to children who are in the markets on a permanent basis, with the aim of reducing their working hours and increase their awareness of the importance of studying. 

Activities at the Centre are intended to improve the children’s quality of life through a focus on:

-       Logical thinking

-       Mathematical thinking

-       Writing

-       English

-       Music

-       Bodily expression

-       Plastic arts

-       Gender and prevention

25  children between the ages of 4 and 12 attend the Centre on a daily basis.

Homework help provided at the Centre is key to ensuring that the children remain in school, as most parents are illiterate and can’t help the children with school work. 

We’ll keep you posted on further progress…

Thank you again for your support… It allows ViaNinos and UBECI to continue with their valuable work in the markets of Southern Quito offering children a brighter future! Gracias!

 

New school bags
New school bags
Dental campaign
Dental campaign
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Thank you again to all those that supported us with the campaign this summer and sponsored ViaNinos on their recent cycling challenge London-Windsor-London in 1 day!

Thanks to your help we will be able to continue financing the 3 outreach workers at UBECI for another year. Their work is at the heart of our partner organisation’s work. Every day they make their way to the distant markets of Southern Quito, managing the playgroups on site, training the volunteers, meeting families to discuss their children’s educational and wellbeing needs, taking the children to a doctor when needed. Every time I visit our projects in Quito I am struck by the dedication, passion and resilience of these outreach workers, and the effect and impact of their work in building the self-confidence of the poor children they help and opening the door to a better future for them.

We really appreciate your continued support!

Thank you.

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Street outreach worker helping with homework
Street outreach worker helping with homework

Thank you again to you all for your continued support of ViaNinos and UBECI and helping us to pay for the salary of an outreach worker providing vital support to working children in the markets of Southern Quito.

One of the main tasks of the UBECI outreach workers is to encourage the parents of the children working in the markets to enrol and keep their children in school. This is a real challenge for these families as they struggle to put together the money to pay for basic school needs and to help with homework, as many parents are illiterate.

UBECI’s social workers are key to providing much needed support and encouragement to make sure the children don’t drop out of school, helping them with school work when they attend the UBECI playgroups in the markets.

Earlier this year, ViaNinos was also able to help UBECI by providing 80 new school bags and kits thanks to our collaboration with the organisation School In A Bag. The children have benefitted not only from having all the items they need for their school and homework, but they also enjoyed a bit of a motivational boost, as illustrated in the story below!

While the UBECI staff were distributing the School In A Bag backpacks, one of the children's mothers came rushing over and to thank them for the school bag and stationary. She said her son's backpack was broken and unusable and he had asked her for a new one. She told him that she couldn't afford to buy a new one, but that he should have faith and ask God to give him one. He told his Mum that he was asking God for a new backpack. When he received his school bag, he jumped for joy and ran to his Mum saying. "it arrived! my present that I have been asking God for!"

If you would like to continue supporting the project you may want to consider setting up a recurring donation. Even 5-10 pounds a month would make a difference!

Wow - that's a tall tower!
Wow - that's a tall tower!
Volunteering in the market
Volunteering in the market
Enjoying some colouring
Enjoying some colouring
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Thank you again to you all for your continued support of ViaNinos and UBECI and helping us to pay for the salary of an outreach worker providing vital support to working children in the markets of Southern Quito.

One of the main tasks of the UBECI outreach workers is to encourage the parents of the children working in the markets to enrol and keep their children in school. This is a real challenge for these families as they struggle to put together the money to pay for basic school needs and to help with homework, as many parents are illiterate. 

UBECI’s social workers are key to providing much needed support and encouragement to make sure the children don’t drop out of school, helping them with school work when they attend the UBECI playgroups in the markets.

Earlier this year, ViaNinos was also able to help UBECI by providing 80 new school bags and kits thanks to our collaboration with the organisation School In A Bag. The children have benefitted not only from having all the items they need for their school and homework, but they also enjoyed a bit of a motivational boost, as illustrated in the story below!

While the UBECI staff were distributing the School In a Bag backpacks, one of the children's mothers came rushing over and to thank them for the school bag and stationary. She said her son's backpack was broken and unusable and he had asked her for a new one. She told him that she couldn't afford to buy a new one, but that he should have faith and ask God to give him one. He told his Mum that he was asking God for a new backpack. When he received his school bag, he jumped for joy and ran to his Mum saying. "it arrived! my present that I have been asking God for!" 

If you would like to continue supporting the project you may want to consider setting up a recurring donation. Even 5-10 pounds a month would make a difference!

Very happy with a new school bag!
Very happy with a new school bag!
Outside the family market stall
Outside the family market stall
Street outreach
Street outreach
With UBECI volunteers
With UBECI volunteers
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Organization Information

ViaNinos UK

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ViaNinosUK
Project Leader:
Bridget Higginson
London, United Kingdom
$13,958 raised of $16,120 goal
 
205 donations
$2,162 to go
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