ViaNiños was founded in Munich in 2003 by three former CENIT volunteers who met whilst volunteering in Quito. To this day, the organisation is run primarily by volunteers. A sister charity was set up in the UK in October 2008 and another in Switzerland in May 2009. ViaNiños needs your support to enable street children in Ecuador to build a brighter future.
To support an equitable world free of risk and rich in opportunity for all Ecuadorian children, adolescents, and families, especially girls and women.
Our goal is to enable Ecuadorian street children and marginalised youth to create a better future for themselves and their families. We do this by supporting grassroots Ecuadorian NGOs that offer targeted support and education programs, particularly to indigenous girls and women. They have decades of experience in transforming child labour and destitution by providing educational opportunities, decent work, financial support and strategic advice.
We have supported our partners for nearly two decades and hold the equivalent of at least one year of support in order to give partners enough time to find new funding sources should there be an unexpected end to our support.
ViaNiños does not micromanage any of its Ecuadorian partners, who know the local problems and solutions best and efficiently address community demands.
Nearly all members have worked in a partner organisation. Several visit partners in person annually. In between, regular phone calls ensure both sides understand current developments. In this way, we build the trust and foster accountability to achieve our organisational mission with our partners.
Bridget Higginson has an MA in Human Rights, a first degree in German and Spanish and has worked for various NGOs. She is the executive director of the charity Hands Around the World. Bridget spent a year as Volunteer Coordinator at CENIT (2007-2008) and has been involved with ViaNiños ever since. She is responsible for the partner organisation CENIT and is ViaNiños UK’s Treasurer.
Tania Songini, Chairperson of ViaNiños UK. Tania has been a member of ViaNiños since 2003. She regularly visits Ecuador and monitors our projects there. Tania worked for 18 years as Finance Director at Siemens, before transitioning to a portfolio of non-executive and consulting roles in the renewable energy and development sectors.
Nicola McGregor studied Spanish and German at university and through her Spanish studies developed an interest in Latin America. She has travelled to South America twice and has spent two weeks travelling across Ecuador. Nicola currently works as a Marketing Manager and manages our marketing activity.
Lucy Nickoll has over ten years of experience in international development and project management, working largely on natural resources and private sector development projects across Asia and Africa. She currently works as Framework Manager for the development consultancy IMC World wide. Lucy worked in Bolivia for over one year as well as in Rwanda, Thailand and Kenya.
Silvia Zerbo is the Events Coordinator for ViaNiños UK. Silvia works as a Sales Manager for Dishman Europe Ltd. She started teaching salsa dancing many years ago through which she developed an interest in Latin American music and culture.