Ecuador's market children experience a life in the markets as early as the age of one. Lack of opportunities, medical care, and finances are common factors. Although seeing education as a valuable asset for their children, the hopeful parents of the children are not able to afford the high costs of the materials for education. Operating in three markets in south Quito with motivation "Play, Do, Learn," UBECI has led the fight to help the at-risk children overcome these conditions since 1999.
The "Play, Do and Learn" program enables children who experience a childhood in a market alternative opportunities. Parents witness in small steps the growth of their children, and are motivated to enrol them in school despite challenges and with the ongoing support of UBECI, stay in school. Through consistent exposure, children can learn from contact with hundreds of volunteers from around the world that they can grow their potential and rise from their circumstances.
Each year, UBECI works with over 600 children, and two thirds will attend school, many for the first time, as a result of strategies developed by UBECI. By having our staff and volunteers in the markets, children can get help before and after school, thus assuring a lower dropout rate. Education, self-confidence and new opportunities for these children will break the chain of poverty;thus increasing productivity and opportunites for the Ecuadorian youth.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).