ECUADOR: Care For Sick Children At A Children's Hospital In Quito!

Company : Travellers Worldwide
Activities: Community Volunteer Projects / Humanitarian Projects / Medical, Health, Medicine
Country: Ecuador
Location : Quito, Ecuador
Duration: 1 week to 3 months
Approx Costs: 500 to 2500 £ Pound (UK)

A fantastic opportunity to meet some of Ecuador's bravest children and put a smile back on their faces!

Children from all over Ecuador end up in this public hospital with a range of short and long term medical conditions. Help to keep the children cheerful and optimistic with games and activities, as well as providing educational support to those who've been in hospital a long time.

PROJECT OVERVIEW
In this large, public hospital in Quito, medical treatment is given to children from all over Ecuador, many from the poorest families. There are many sick children, with a range of conditions - most are aged between 0 and 15. Their families often come with them, but due to space limitations, there's usually only room for one parent to stay.

Within the hospital, there is a centre for Children called "Ludoteca", which gives them space to heal from their injuries, and keeps them entertained during this time - which for many can be a lengthy process. Around 50 children each day visit this area of the hospital for recreational activities and games. For those children who cannot move or walk by themselves, activities are taken to them - usually this is done alongside another person from the hospital staff.

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT:
*An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into the diverse culture in Ecuador.
*The enormous satisfaction of helping disadvantaged children and knowing that you made a difference to them.
*New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.
*An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market
*And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!

YOUR WORK
It will be reward enough just to see the smiles on the faces of the children that you work with. Unfortunately the children in the hospital are from underprivileged backgrounds and have not had the best start in life. You will help to be their ray of sunshine, by lavishing attention on them and taking the time to play games you'll help all the children to forget their injuries.

As well as going to "Ludoteca" to help with recreational activities and games, you'll pay particular attention to any children who have been in the hospital a long time. Often these children miss a large part of their school education, and so need help with basic tutoring and where possible, some English lessons. If you wish to, there will also be plenty of opportunities to interact in Spanish, with either the children or their parents. If there are any other educational activities you wish to work on with the children, please do not be afraid to ask your project coordinator. The hospital is grateful of any help you can give them, so if you have a special talent please do not be afraid to share it with the children.

This placement is very intensive as you will be working with some severely disabled and disadvantaged children, which can be distressing. It is frustrating to see the lack of social services and aids for disabled children that there are, in comparison to a developed country. But because of this, it means that your work is even more important. You may feel like in your normal day-to-day volunteering you are not really 'helping' but please rest assured that a minimal amount of effort on your part brings a great deal of happiness into the lives of the children you'll be working with. Ecuadorian culture does differ to that of your home country, and therefore things may work slower on your project than you are used to. It is always wise to remember that by showing a little initiative and the more effort you put into the placement, the more fantastic it will be!

WORKING HOURS:
Work is available between 8:30am - 4:30pm, Monday to Friday, either for the full day or for a 3 - 4 hour period. There is plenty of flexibility, depending on your preferences: the staff will be delighted to have an extra pair of hands. Just discuss on arrival with your project coordinator the times that you wish to work.

SPANISH LESSONS:
If you have no previous knowledge of Spanish, your project will include 2 weeks of Spanish lessons at a fantastic and very well-established Spanish school in Quito. For the first week of your project, you will have 4 hours of group Spanish classes in the morning and will work at the project in the afternoon. For the second week of your project you will have 2 hours of private Spanish lessons . On the third and fourth weeks of your projects, your Spanish will be brilliant and you won't need Spanish classes so will spend all the time at your project!! (Of course, if you wish we can arrange for you to continue with your Spanish classes - please see the prices page for the supplemental cost for this.) All the teachers at the school have taught Spanish for 8 or more years and between them they have developed a great many resources to make the lessons lively and fun. They also periodically organise interesting and enjoyable activities in order to introduce the Ecuadorian and Latin culture to their students - most recently they've been cooking Ecuadorian dishes in classes! It's a great, fun way to learn!

LOCATION:
The hospital is located just a short walk from the Mariscal area of Quito. The Mariscal area is the commercial district, with cosmopolitan nightlife, bars and restaurants. Quito is a wonderful city, with a population of 2.4 million inhabitants. It is full of exciting history to explore, which is easier to find than in most cities as the most important dates in Ecuadorian history are in the street names - you'll come across 10 de Agosto street, 12 de Octubre street and 6 de Diciembre street. You then just have to find out what happened on those dates!

There is always something to do in Quito, whether you'd like to experience some culture or join in with the cosmopolitan, modern way of life, there is always something to do or somewhere to visit. Cultural highlights include the old town, the cable car and the equator, along with a multitude of museums and monuments. Modern highlights include a range of shopping malls, a zoo, an ice skating rink, and plenty of restaurants and bars serving wonderful cocktails and tasty food - you'll find anything from traditional Ecuadorian cuisine to Thai and Italian!

Quito is very easy to get around. You can either use the buses, trolley buses or taxis, which are all very cheap and easily accessible.

YOUR ACCOMMODATION

You'll either stay in a house with other volunteers, in a privately run hostel, or with a host family depending on your preferences/availability. Staying with a host family or in the hostel does mean a small supplementary fee - please see the prices page for details of this.

The house is located in a tourist area, 'La Mariscal', near to where all Spanish lessons are held and where there is plenty of nightlife, restaurants and internet cafes. The house has 7 rooms and accommodates 13. There is a large, fully equipped kitchen, a TV room with a DVD player, wireless internet, 2 safety boxes and a garden with hammocks and a BBQ area. All bathrooms have hot water and there is a cleaning lady 5 days a week.

The hostel is located in the same area, just a 5 minute walk from the house. The cosy backpackers hostel has double rooms with private bathrooms and a small restaurant.

Accommodation with host families means that Travellers volunteers get to eat, sleep, work, socialise and generally live like an Ecuadorian! Many of our volunteers remain friends with their host families long after they leave Ecuador and in some cases they return to the country later especially to visit their family.

Whichever accommodation you choose you're sure to enjoy a great stay in Quito!

TRAVEL:
You'll fly into Ecuador where you'll be met on arrival. From the airport you'll be taken to your work and your accommodation and introduced to your hosts. Prepare yourself for a friendly welcome!

You have the option to arrange your own flights or we can assist you with your flight arrangements. If you would like us to do this for you, we will liaise with you regarding available flights and dates to suit you. All arrangements for your flight bookings/payments will be fulfilled by Murray Rogers Travel Limited, ATOL No. 6856. Where possible, we arrange for two or more people to travel on the same flight and we will let you have the names and telephone numbers of other volunteers on your flight, so that you can chat to each other or even meet up before leaving for your placement.

Where possible, all flights we arrange for you have changeable return tickets because many of our volunteers choose to extend their stay once they are in their destination country. Changeable return tickets enable you to do so, within the limits of your visa and the level of your air ticket, of course. If you choose to book your own flights, you should endeavour to get a changeable ticket.

To read about the excellent Support & Backup we provide before you leave and during your programme, please click here.

We can also arrange your flight dates to give you additional time at the end of your project for travelling around and sightseeing!

Start Dates

All year round - you choose your start and finish dates! You should ideally arrive at the weekend, between 8.00 a.m. and 7.00 p.m.Our placements are flexible and can be tailored to match your preferences. For availability please contact the office.

Costs / Benefits

Costs vary depending on length of placement, but starts at £650 for one week.
Included is full support from the moment of booking and throughout your placement to your return home. There are support staff 24/7 in all our destinations worldwide and a 24 hour emergency international telephone line direct to the Head Office. Accommodation is provided (whether a rented house, a hotel/hostel, home stay, apartment or flat).

You’ll be met at the nearest airport on your arrival by our in-country manager who will take you to your accommodation and give you a full induction into the area. He/she will also be on call 24/7 and you’ll see them frequently.

Pre-departure you’ll receive comprehensive information about every aspect of your placement and necessary preparations, ranging from what to pack, to visa information, to what to do on your weekend travel in the country. Your safety, well being and happiness throughout your placement are our primary concerns and we will keep in touch with you throughout. International flights not included.

Requirements

None, just enthusiasm and energy. You do need a little Spanish to take part in this project - lessons can be combined with your project though! All our projects are open to all nationalities. Anyone aged 17 - 70+

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