UBECI works in outdoor markets throughout Quito with over 620 street children, aged 1-16, providing them with empowering activities covering education, health, and society that enable their academic and social development. UBECI is especially important for the young women we work with who are far less likely to attend school than males. With your support, we can increase the resources we provide to the community and continue our work with one of the most at-risk populations in Ecuador.
Ecuadorian working children experience a life in the markets from the age of one. Lack of opportunities, medical care, and finances are common factors. Although they view education as a valuable asset to their children, hopeful parents of children cannot afford the high costs of educational materials. Operating in three markets in southern Quito with the "Play, Do, Learn" motivation, UBECI has led the fight to help 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 620 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 opportunities for the Ecuadorian youth.