UBECI is a non-profit, non-government organization located in the South of Quito, Ecuador, working everyday to better the lives of at risk children and their families. These children are often from low-income backgrounds who have to work at the young age at five or younger in order to help support their families. Because of this there is little time or concern in their daily lives to attend school, exercise, or socialize in a healthy environment. By implementing programs which develop the childrens’ learning skills, social skills, and understanding of important topics such as gender equality, hygiene, nutrition, and family involvement we create a foundation for a better and brighter future.
Because we believe in a comprehensive approach, our staff is a unique blend of locals volunteers from all parts of the world. Our local staff are not only trained in social work and education, but also are well-known members of the community, who grew up only blocks away from the markets. Our staff also includes volunteers all over the world who bring a fresh new look and approach to our mission, as well as establish connections throughout all parts of the word. With the help of our staff we are creating a diverse community of professionals who work everyday towards the same goal of giving the children the opportunity they deserve.
One Family, One Mission
UBECI was founded in 1999, in order to unite several smaller aid organizations who were working within the markets of Southern Quito. From only three full-time staff members, we have grown our family to over two hundred and fifty volunteers and interns from all over the world as well as our full-time local staff. The director, Enrique Salvatierra, was a former volunteer who worked with the children at the market and understands firsthand the critical importance of our mission.
UBECI aims to reduce the hours of children who work in the streets and markets of Quito by engaging them in educational and recreational activities. Providing these children with educational, social, and emotional support allows them to feel respected by their community while experiencing personal growth. As a social and educational foundation, UBECI fights every day for the rights of children so that they can receive love, attention, and education. UBECI works with children and adolescents ages one to seventeen years in order to develop strategies through which we can offer more learning opportunities involving self-reliance, self-worth, and dedication. UBECI operates based on a differentiated instruction teaching method, in which the children are encouraged to use their discoveries in order to gain new knowledge. UBECI’s teaching methods facilitate healthy development of:
- fine and gross motor skills
- healthy habits
- fellowship and tolerance
- fluency in vocabulary that is age appropriate
- auditory and visual memory
- logical thinking
- body expression
Currently our main project is called “Play, Do, and Learn,” which focuses on developing the children’s self-esteem. UBECI educators utilize educational and recreational activities to instill confidence within the children so that they can grow to realize their own potential and achieve a future of happiness and success.