What is the ultimate purpose of volunteering abroad with Global Volunteers? Besides the benefits to the volunteers themselves, the goal is to improve the lives of the local people in the communities where we work. This begs the question: how does the work volunteers do improve the lives of the local people? On this post our community partner FUNDAC shares about the impact of Global Volunteers’ work on the lives of low-income families and their children in Calderon, Ecuador.
What’s life like for low-income families in Calderón?
The quality of life of families in Calderón is of a lower stratum. They live with an economy that’s on the edge, just trying to make ends meet. Many of them earn only minimum wage, and the majority of the wives are domestic workers, day laborers, and part-time workers. The early childhood development centers were created to give priority attention to the families of the Calderón population who are in a situation of poverty, extreme poverty, and vulnerability. The families of the children who attend our children’s centers get up early to work outside the parish and their children cannot be left abandoned or locked in their homes.
In view of the fact that parents go out to work, their children need to be taken care of, fed well, receive affection, and their care is a priority since they are vulnerable people. It cannot be allowed for children under the age of three to be under the care of their “older” siblings with ages ranging from seven to eight years. Families trust our child development centers.
Every child has the right to education, food, healthcare, and love without distinction of race or social status. FUNDAC supports families through agreements with the government, international aid (Global Volunteers), and trained personnel to carry out activities and projects according to the ages of each child.
In what areas does your community need help to improve their quality of life?
The community needs help in the areas of: health (vitamins, medical check-ups); hygiene (personal hygiene items); nutrition (balanced diets, age-appropriate foods); and talks with families on how to motivate children to eat food at home, the personal care of parents and children, and maintaining an excellent relationship in their adult-child family environment.
How is your community working to improve the quality of life?
In this time of crisis, work is complicated worldwide. However, to ensure that our children’s centers have an activity programmed and based on the needs and characteristics of each child, it is important to identify each family and conduct home visits to see what the parents are doing with their children and to take surveys on daily nutrition and health. We receive donations from charitable people and these are distributed to the neediest families.
How is Global Volunteers helping to improve the quality of life?
Global Volunteers has been very concerned about the families and children of our children’s centers. FUNDAC expresses its gratitude and misses the teams of volunteers, who have been an excellent help in improving the level of knowledge imparted to our teachers, through their warmth towards the children, and through those much-needed projects and donations that we would not have been able to carry out without them.
How has the work Global Volunteers done in your community improved the quality of life?
The quality of life has improved thanks to their volunteer work and donations for the execution of programs and projects, which directly benefit the community of the children’s centers. Global Volunteers has helped immensely with the time they have shared with our children and teachers and their face-to-face help with jobs and materials to improve infrastructure and educational areas for the children so that they have quality early education and make this first stage of their life become a fundamental pillar of the young children.
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