ECUADOR: REWARDING STREET KIDS PROJECT IN QUITO!

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

Work with a NGO to help children, youth and adults living on the streets of Quito. Help people in desperate situations, by giving them a safe environment to eat, shower, relax and make friends.

You'll find this project incredibly rewarding as the street children are crying out for love and attention. The assistance that you can give by volunteering on this project is also invaluable, as it is severely lacking in funds. The NGO is hoping to provide a safe place for the children to sleep in the near future - without volunteers providing the project with their time and enthusiasm this would not be possible.

PROJECT OVERVIEW
You'll work with a not for profit NGO that specialises in the investigation, prevention, attention and treatment of the population that live in extreme marginal situations. It is their belief that a child is born good, but society corrupts them. They strive to reverse this trend by offering a safe and secure environment in which they can relax and feel at home. The street children also have the chance to meet others in their situation and learn skills that will help them turn their backs on the life of poverty and depravation that they've been accustomed to by living on the streets.

The NGO works with Children, Adolescents, Youth of the Streets and Streetworkers. These are the CAYSaS. The CAYSaS are found on the streets in urban areas. They are faced with problems such as: working and living on the streets, contact with their families, lack of education, risk of permanent and total exclusion form local communities. The children and young adults are at a very high risk of being totally excluded from local communities as a large number turn to solvent abuse and drugs to escape their problems, which can lead to a life of crime and violence to pay for these habits. Most of the children on the projects sell candy on the streets to support their most basic expenses. The project has created a carpentry workshop and various training courses to teach the youth and adults, new skills that will improve their quality of life.

The key areas that the NGO offer help with, are:

-Giving them attention, treatment and refuge. The treatment is given for behavioural problems, education problems and (drug) addiction
-When CAYSaS are in the process of moving to the street the NGO tries to prevent this by offering other options.
-Help with strengthening of character, pedagogical recuperation, and returning to school.
-Promoting suitable use of their free time.
-Education on sexual orientation, family planning, prevention of STDs and health education.
-Establishing the reintroduction of family, social life and work into the children's lives.
-Younger children are sent to school, with the help of sponsors.
-Older children are offered opportunities to learn skills such as carpentry to help themselves.

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
You will mainly work as an assistant. The children will really appreciate any attention you give them! Some of the tasks that you may participate in, will include:

-Helping the children with their homework
-Helping them in the carpentry workshop
-Helping in the kitchen
-Visiting the schools
-Playing with the children
-Preparing activities for the children (sports, outings to the theatre, museums, the zoo, teaching the children songs, role play games etc.)
-The project has also had a new house donated to them. If you wish to, there may be the chance to really get your hands dirty and help finish the painting and decorating for this house so that it can be put to use more quickly!

This project is extremely rewarding and your help is greatly appreciated. If you have any special talents the children would love you to share them or teach them! However, please be aware that it is emotionally draining and requires strong characters to volunteer here. You must be incredibly self motivated and independent and must not be afraid, although it will seem daunting at first. You must be prepared for what you will be faced with - there will be dirt (these children live on the streets!), the children lack education so you must be very patient and many of them have deep-seated emotional issues, nevertheless you must remember that this NGO is doing phenomenal work helping these children overcome the hardships that they have been dealt in life. YOU can play an important part in that!

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 project is based in the centre of the city. You can either walk to it from your accommodation, or take the bus. 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.

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'll need a little Spanish to do this project, but we've got that covered! If you have no knowledge of Spanish at all, you can combine your project with two weeks of Spanish. All our projects are open to all nationalities. Anyone aged 17 - 70+

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