What we do
Through our work we support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
Who we work with
We partner with three organisations in Ecuador and fund the salaries of teachers, social workers, psychologists. We also provide scholarships for poorer students and medicines for the clinic at CENIT.
ViaNiños supports CENIT through funding salaries including social workers, education specialists, and teaching staff as well as CENIT (The Integrated Centre for Childhood and Adolescence) is based in South Quito and has been helping working children, especially girls as they are the most vulnerable, since 1991. It operates a school for poor, disadvantaged children, and also run outreach playgroups in two markets. CENIT’s work is wide reaching and inclusive, incorporating health, social and psychological support, education and vocational training. CENIT’s team consists of around 15 local employees as well as local and international volunteers. Annually CENIT reaches out to some 400 children and their families. outreach and social workers.
UBECI is a small organisation working with particularly vulnerable children in Quito’s markets since 2005. Every day, the outreach workers are out working in different markets with support from international volunteers. They focus on social and educational interventions with the children. In addition, UBECI staff work to integrate the children into mainstream schooling and to ensure access to healthcare. UBECI offers homework support for older children. Workshops for parents on topics such as values, human rights, child labour, domestic/child abuse and its prevention are a vital part of the programme.
ViaNiños funds the salaries of two outreach workers and two child psychologists thereby provides an opportunity for the children to build a brighter future.
Sor Dominga Bocca is a home for 22 girls aged between 3 and 18 years located in Guayaquil. These girls are no longer able to live with their families due to domestic violence and abuse or as a result of abandonment. A team of one social worker, psychologists, education specialists and a cook look after the girls in a family environment. Particular attention is given to their psychological healing as well as integrating them into mainstream schooling. The social worker and care workers strive to establish and/or maintain contact with the children’s families. Following primary and secondary education, Sor Dominga Bocca supports the girls to go on to further education or training. ViaNiños funds the salary for one psychologist.
How ViaNiños has changed lives
When Gabriella was young, her father abandoned the family and the children were placed into a children’s home until their mother took them out again a year later. The family survived on the limited income they received from recycling bottles from around a South Quito market. Gabriella was left to play in the market. A fun childhood and education was not a consideration
When Gabriella was six, a CENIT social worker worked with her mother and encouraged her to send Gabriella to school. At eight, she moved up to the second grade and received social and psychological support to help her integrate into the school and deal with many issues.
Sabrina entered the Sor Dominga Bocca hostel with her two sisters when she was seven years old, after their parents died from AIDS. As the oldest, she took on the role of her mother to look after her siblings, in particular a disabled brother. Sabrina was diligent, quiet and obedient and studied hard at school. She passed her scholarship with excellent grades and went on study Economics at la Universidad Estatal de Guayaquil. Now she works at Fedex, thanks to a helper at Sor Dominga Bocca who also worked at the firm. Sabrina stayed at the hostel as her economic situation improved and helped her siblings who weren’t as lucky as their sister and left the hostel which Sabrina continued her studies. In 2021, Sabrina decided to leave the hostel at 24 years old and is now living with one of her sisters and a niece.
Maria was born to an indigenous single mother and was raised by her aunt and uncle in the countryside. School wasn’t an option for her until she moved to live with her mother in south Quito, at 11 years old. At 12, she was sent to work as a maid for a wealthy family and was separated from her own family for two years.
She watched the children go to school and decided she wanted to go too. Within a year she saved enough money to cover all her school costs. With her mother’s support, she enrolled in CENIT’s high school and was put on a specialist education track to accommodate the challenges that older students face. Alongside her studies, Maria also attended a clothes-making course to learn a vocational skill that would provide an additional opportunity to find solid employment.