There are many reasons why we chose Ecuador for our second Book Bus journey. Whilst education and learning to read is taken for granted here in the UK, in Ecuador the provision of public schools falls far below the levels needed. Class sizes are often very large and in rural areas only 10% of the children go on to high school. The Ministry of Education states that the mean number of years completed is 6.7. With nearly 40% of Ecuadorians living in poverty, there is a real need for educational assistance and the Book Bus project will make a real difference to many young lives.
All our development projects have been carefully chosen to satisfy several criteria. They are of definable and sustainable benefit to the local community and allow us the opportunity to work in tandem with the people of Ecuador. Our work with schools, orphanages and hospitals is organised with community assent and involvement to provide direct aid and educational assistance to disadvantaged children. The Book Bus development projects are over-seen by a resident Project Manager whose role is to co-ordinate the key stake holders, the funding and the project's objectives. We are committed to direct patronage within the local economies of the countries in which we operate.
Throughout the project we stay in locally owned hostels, family stays or based in the project locations themselves. This helps us contribute to and integrate with the communities we work in. Our day to day living budget will be spent by the team at local "grass roots" level. Meals are either made from scratch or taken in locally owned restaurants. We avoid disposable plates and cutlery and recycle everything that can be recycled. We employ local staff to run all aspects of the Book Bus from the driver to the project coordinator to PR.
Volunteers are encouraged to interact positively with the local community by being respectful and courteous in the communities we work in. Supporting the Book Bus project is a unique opportunity to experience a foreign culture and to truly make a difference to people’s lives.
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