Grant to provide education and support for street children in Ecuador

  • Grant to support a project to provide access to education and support for improved performance for street children in the barrios of Guayaquil, Ecuador
  • Two-year grant of £16,000 per annum for 2014 and 2015, subject to satisfactory annual report

The lnternational Children’s Trust (ICT) supports local partner organisations that work alongside vulnerable children, their families and communities to achieve sustainable change that reduces poverty. It is working with partners in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Mexico, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

In Guayaquil, Ecuador, ICT is collaborating with JUCONI, a local NGO working to rehabilitate street working children into family, school and community. The children’s daily lives are characterised by turbulent and violent family relationships and street involvement. They manifest signs of neglect, malnourishment, abuse and trauma. They lack appropriate adult support at home and (when attending) at school. Not surprisingly these children have been unable to sustain their education and, in the absence of any intervention, will enter adulthood without the skills, knowledge or stability to access safe, regular employment.

BFSS is supporting a project which provides the interventions that will create sustained access to education for at least 40 street and otherwise vulnerable children in Guayaquil.  The project started with a baseline assessment of identified children’s educational and emotional developmental status, family information including the levels of violence, abuse and other dysfunctions in the home and an assessment of quality of teaching and management of school children. Project activities then commenced. These consist of family-based support sessions, workshops for children and parents respectively, and training workshops for teachers. Teachers, parents and children receive ongoing support and guidance to enable the children to sustain attendance and progress at school, leading to long-term improvement in their lives.Take-up of training has greatly exceeded expectations, with numbers recruited to the teacher workshops considerably in excess of plans.

JUCONI educator with smaller children whist parents and   older siblings undergo family therapy (1024x683)

Outputs so far include:

  • Support for 30 families with street involved children and siblings; as a result 58 children now attend school and receive support to sustain regular attendance
  • Peer workshops for 55 children covering self-esteem, preventing risky situations and violence and recognising and expressing emotions
  • Workshops attended by 22 parents which cover the themes of the children’s workshops but include controlling stress, thus contributing to calmer family environments
  • Training for 120 teachers (from 6 schools) via workshops which reinforce positive techniques in classroom management and understanding of deeply traumatised children.

Planned outcomes:

  • At least 40 children will be enrolled in school and sustaining regular attendance and/or will have significantly reduced or eliminated time working on the streets
  • At least 40 children will have significantly improved their level of social and emotional development, self-esteem, confidence and social skills to interact effectively with parents, peers and teachers
  • A minimum of 20 parents will have improved the support they provide to their children to ensure they stay in school
  • 120 teachers (up from the original forecast of 57) from the 6 participating schools will have gained the skills that ensure they are able to recognise and support the needs of children at risk of dropping out of school.

“We identified that a way forward was to engage with the parents of children on the needs and difficulties presented in school.”

“We understand the reality of our sector and we have learned ways of relating to marginalised families and their children.”

Quotes from teachers who have attended the workshops

A family group taking part in JUCONI therapeutic session   at home. (768x1024)

arning the realities for street working   children and understanding classroom needs of exceptionally vulnerable   children (1024x708)

Parents in JUCONI project workshop. They are learning   parental responsibility and protection of children (1) (1024x768)

Children in workshop learning self esteem, management of   emotions and understandign violence (1024x683)