Teach disadvantaged children in Quito, Ecuador

“Volunteer as an English teaching assistant in an Ecuadorian school, with optional Spanish lessons available.”

Highlights

Teach English to disadvantaged children between the ages of 5 and 14 | Option to teach music, sport or arts | Take Spanish lessons at a local language school

Description of Teach disadvantaged children in Quito, Ecuador

On this volunteer programme you’ll teach disadvantaged children between the ages of 5 and 14 at a government funded school in Quito, Ecuador. The school has some 200 students, most of whom come from poor backgrounds - their families either earn low wages or are unemployed. In some cases, the children can’t go to school every day because they have to support their parents selling produce on the streets.

Your role will be helping the English teacher, Gladys, teach her classes. The children find learning English difficult so having a native speaker in the class helps greatly. Volunteers liven up the classes and make the children more enthusiastic about learning.

Your work will involve:

- Teaching English
- Teaching music (if you have any interest/knowledge)
- Helping with sports and creative activities such as arts and crafts
- Helping out during school lunchtimes

You will gain:

- New skills to enhance your CV.
- An understanding of a different culture.
- Greater confidence and personal development.

Spanish Lessons:

If you don’t speak any Spanish you’ll get two weeks on lessons at a local language school – spending mornings in Spanish class and afternoons volunteering at the school. All of the Spanish teachers are experienced and lessons often include cultural activities such as Ecuadorian cooking.

Location:
The school is in northern Quito and is easily accessible from your accommodation by bus. Quito is an exciting, dynamic city with plenty of things to do, from museums, to historic monuments, to shopping malls to restaurants and bars. The city is easy and cheap to get around, with plentiful buses and taxis available.

Travel Team

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01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?

Departure information

All year round - you choose your start and finish dates!
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Volunteer travel - what's it all about

Are you looking for an adventurous trip with a purpose, or on a gap year or career break? If you want to make a difference in some of the world’s most important conservation areas - and in community projects - then volunteer trips are for you! Volunteers tend to have a sense of adventure, and come from a range of different backgrounds and from all over the world.
Edward Abbey said 'sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul'.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Teach disadvantaged children in Quito, Ecuador

Environment

We have partnered with a local organisation in Ecuador to examine local communities and support projects in establishments where volunteers are really needed.

The school that we work with has specifically requested assistance from volunteers so you will be greatly appreciated at the school. There is a genuine requirement for help, teaching basic English, and assisting with the education of the children. The school can only afford one English teacher for all of the classes – this means she is overworked and stressed. She also has no chance to practice or improve her English as none of the other teachers are bi-lingual. By volunteering your time you’ll be providing a valuable link to the English language for the School’s English teacher. You’ll also be improving the quality of the classes that the children have and can provide wonderful, interactive classes that the children appreciate – at present the majority of them find English hard and boring, you can single-handedly change this – offering them a much better chance in life!

The children often grow up in great poverty and so it is incredibly important for volunteers to share their time and energy. Here the children are in a safe environment where they can learn, play, and grow with positive role models and encouragement provided by you, the volunteer. You can assist in any subject that you have a knowledge of and have the scope to be as creative as possible; in doing this you’ll be able to actually see the difference that you make –by providing new enthusiasm to the school you’ll encourage the children to learn more and learn at a greater pace!!

Where possible volunteers are encourage to purchase supplies for their placement in the local community rather than in their home country, supporting local business. Also donations of equipment, clothing or money is encouraged and full support is given to assist with this process.

You have the choice of living in a volunteer house or with a host family. By living in the volunteer house provided you’ll, again, be providing much needed income and employment to the local population. The house is simple and you’ll be actively encouraged to recycle, be efficient with energy and water usage and preserve the surroundings. If you choose to stay with a host family, you’ll also be benefitting the local community. Money you pay towards food and accommodation goes directly to the family. This provides not only much needed income for the families but also income for local businesses from food purchases and the money you’ll spend during free time. By taking part in the project you’ll bring financial support and learning experiences for the whole community.

Environment:
Transport to and from the project is left up to you to choose (costs covered for public transport). Public transport is always recommended by travellers and all nearby public transport routes are shown to all new arrivals. If taxis are required, you will be encouraged to share with other volunteers in order to lessen the impact of pollution wherever possible.

Having regard for the local community by being consciously aware of your impact is encouraged in all our documentation for all our projects in all our destination countries. This is because we feel very strongly that many countries are subject to, for example, water shortages, high cost of energy and high impact of energy usage, the negative impact of litter and general pollution. Thus we encourage our volunteers to be aware of these possible impacts so that they contribute positively and not negatively to the community in this respect.

POSITIVE EFFECTS TRAVELLERS HAS ON THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT:

We provide our volunteers with many tips on how to be a responsible traveller regarding the environmental impact they have.

We want you to be immersed in the culture, by living and working with local people. We work with local communities, local charities, local government bodies and local schools. We also often partner with local organisations whom we have vetted to ensure that they are committed to the projects they run, that they have the same responsible attitude to the local community that we do, that they are eco-friendly and have ethical policies.

In our projects and in our headquarters offices, we take an environmentally responsible attitude towards recycling and reusing of waste products. We encourage all participants to offset their flight emissions via a carbon offset scheme. Our volunteers are given pre-departure Information that encourages them to minimise waste and reduce their use of water and electricity, in other words, to live sensitively in the environment that they’re working in.

Travellers also gives donations as and when required by projects. This is often done through our charitable arm, The Bridge The Gap Foundation.

Our projects enable vital conservation, research, care and education work to take place directly where it is most needed. For example, the schools where we teach English very often have no other English teachers, and so they rely on us for continued lessons. For example, we kept a Species Survival Conservation project in South Africa afloat until completion after it was threatened by lack of funds. Our volunteers contribute, all over the world, to projects that would not exist without them.

Community

We employ an all local staff force in most of our destination countries, which benefits the local economy. These range from skilled country managers, who are often pillars of their community, to local labourers and craftspeople. We believe in paying our overseas staff fairly, and many are rewarded with higher than average wages for local standards. When required, we send local staff on training courses to widen their skills. For example, a member of staff in South Africa recently attended an ‘eco-school’. Here, she was trained in eco teaching methods, which she will take to the schools around her region of South Africa to encourage eco-friendly farming methods.

We are committed to upholding strict ethical standards that ensure a positive and lasting impact upon the environments, communities, institutions, volunteers, animals, children and people that we work with.

For example:

- We encourage our volunteers to make the most of local opportunities available to them, such as shopping at local markets, eating in local restaurants and using local services and transport.

- We encourage volunteers to pay fairly for goods and services. We believe that over payment for goods and services or payment to beggars can have negative consequences and result in the over-reliance on tourism within the local community.

- We strongly advise against purchasing wildlife souvenirs or anything which may perpetuate the death or cruel treatment of animals for the purpose of profit.

- We advise on dress codes and codes of behaviour in all of our destination countries to ensure volunteers don’t cause offence to local communities.

Our aim is to create always a win-win-win situation in terms of the benefits for the local communities and institutions that we work in, for us and for the volunteer. We do not embark on any project that is not beneficial to the communities, institutes or volunteers. We conduct regular volunteer satisfaction surveys to monitor our performance. We are also an incredibly environmentally aware company – we recycle in our offices and carbon offset when we need to send staff to our destinations. Although individually these are small actions, we believe it’s the first step to preserving the planet for future generations.

Our projects enable vital conservation, research, care and education work to take place directly where it is most needed. For example, the schools where we teach English very often have no other English teachers, and so they rely on us for continued lessons. We kept a Species Survival Conservation project in South Africa afloat until completion after it was threatened by lack of funds. Our volunteers contribute, all over the world, to projects that would not exist without them.

We have strict practices and procedures in place relating to all the projects and communities we work with to make sure that the children or vulnerable adults they are working with is genuine and work with their consent.

To help us adapt to their needs we have personnel in all our destination who work one to one with the local communities to ensure both the project and especially the children and vulnerable adults we are helping benefit from the experience of us being there. All our projects have direct involvement with the application process of all our participant wanting to join them and have complete discretion on who they accept!

Our Policy and Commitment to how we work with children and vulnerable adults:

* All our volunteers are police checked (Enhanced DBS check for British participants and or national equivalent for everyone outside the UK).
* We reference check all volunteers with either professional or academic organisation and they are screened by both the UK office and project in the destination.
* All our projects have been screened by our in-country representative and all projects have final decision with who they take.
* All volunteers are provided with comprehensive information about their project and country and they also receive an orientation and induction on arrival.
* All volunteers are provided with and instructed to follow our Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection Policy and are provided with channels to report any concerns they may have. All volunteers and projects have access to us 24/7.

This ongoing project is geared towards helping the local community. The help of volunteers in projects such as this is of enormous benefit. We have long-standing relationships with local people, making this a sustainable, on-going project. Your work here contributes to, and helps to continue, the long chain of worthwhile achievements in this community.

Social Responsibility:
The information we provide prepares our volunteers for their placement and how to deal with the local people. It also briefs our volunteers on the Do’s and Don’ts and ensures that they are aware of the possible impact of their behaviour.

Cultural sensitivity:
Volunteers receive an induction and orientation on arrival which covers things like being sensitive to the culture you’re in, everyday processes which will be different to what you’re accustomed to, how to have the maximum beneficial imprint and the minimum negative impact.

We stress the importance of responsible tourism, cultural differences and acceptable/unacceptable conduct. Where appropriate, volunteers are briefed on local customs, particularly those that are different to the volunteer’s accepted norm.

Economic Responsibility
For nearly 25 years our volunteers have lived in the local community, spent their money with local traders and brought funding to the projects they work with. Travellers employs local staff and works with local support staff. This helps to fund the project directly and through bringing money into the local community.

The organisations we work with are often struggle to financially support and maintain the work they do, so every penny raised makes a real difference.
Our aim is to create always a Win-Win-Win situation in terms of the benefits for, (a) the local communities and institutions you work in, (b) our Volunteers, i.e. you, and (c) for Travellers. We do not embark on any project that is not beneficial to all three of these stakeholders.

Before our Volunteers depart on their projects, we provide them with comprehensive information about their project and country:
(1) A detailed Programme Guide to Volunteering which we’ve produced in-house.
(2) A detailed Country Factfile,
(3) A detailed Project Description Booklet specific to their Project.
(4) Safety Book: This book is produced by Travellers and has common-sense but necessary general safety tips while travelling, as well as safety advice relevant to your specific destination country.

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