Melt-Your-Heart Kindness in Ecuador Modeled by Two Young Volunteers
This story, relayed by Global Volunteers’ Ecuador Country Manager, is a beautiful example of children helping children in Ecuador.
Adam and Amy of Virginia were seeking to give their two young sons, Reed (age 9) and Clayton (age 7), the experience of serving others, exploring another part of the world, and learning about how other people live. After much research into international volunteer programs and what their boys would be able to do, they decided to spend a week volunteering in Quito, Ecuador at a daycare center for disadvantaged children.
While in Ecuador, Reed and Clayton set goals for themselves, including to learn more Spanish and to help the children. They worked with the children aged 12 months to four years of age, playing with them, helping to feed them, washing their hands, and giving them love. At this daycare center, Reed and Clayton were remarkable examples of children helping children in Ecuador.
Even before their service in Ecuador began, Amy and Adam wanted their boys to think about how they could best help the children at the daycare center. They had a family discussion about what types of toys they had enjoyed playing with when they were ages one, two, and three. They came up with a list and then asked Maggie, who would be their team leader once in Ecuador, if the Ecuadorian children would enjoy those toys and play with them. A resounding “Yes!” was the answer. Once in Ecuador, the team presented their donations to Global Volunteers’ community partners, who run the daycare centers. They wanted to let the children play with the new Legos right away. Reed and Clayton loved giving the little ones in Ecuador toys that they had enjoyed playing with when they were their age (and sometimes still do!)
Adam and Amy describe this experience as life-changing for their boys, and say it absolutely helped them work towards their goal to “sustain and develop a family culture of social, political, and environmental awareness, and raise compassionate and self-aware children with a well-grounded, global worldview.”
Not only did Reed and Clayton volunteer in Ecuador, but they also had the opportunity to practice the Spanish they learn in school, learn about South America’s geography, and expand their understanding of how other people live.
While in Ecuador, Adam and Amy discussed further supporting the daycare center in Ecuador by making a monetary donation to the program. Once they returned home, their two young sons felt compelled to donate from their own allowances to the children and friends they had made in Ecuador. This gesture, Ecuador Country Manager Maggie Bjorklund describes, was one of the sweetest and most genuine she had ever seen. For children that young to express their compassion and concern was really touching. Maggie says,
“I know that it is a an eye-opening and meaningful experience for children to volunteer at this daycare center alongside their Ecuadorian peers. For me, to see children helping children in Ecuador is truly heartwarming. But then to see the generosity of these two young boys, at the ages of just seven and nine – to give of their own allowance – is really something else.”
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