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Volunteer at a Centre for Street Children (Dream Centre Quito)

Matkaohjelma

Volunteer at a Centre for Street Children (Dream Centre Quito)

Volunteer Activities

The volunteers work in the center with the children who either go to school in the morning or in the afternoon. The volunteers are mainly assistants and educators; apart from giving the children many hugs and much attention, these are some of the tasks

- Help children with their homework (children are often behind in school and do not have a quiet space to do their homework, or have parents who are not capable of helping them at home so volunteers are a great help in this area).
- Help in the kitchen, especially during lunch time which can be very chaotic and busy. The staff need help assisting the youngest children and make sure they clean up after themselves.
- Help in the carpentry workshop (when necessary)
- School visits (the center needs to keep a check on the children enrolled at school and regularly visit the local schools to ask about a certain child’s attendance, grades, ability etc.)
- Prepare educational activities
- Prepare recreational activities to be carried out when the children finish their homework or during their breaks
- Assist in hygiene education, such as hand washing and brushing teeth
- Supervise and assist children when they are allowed to use the computer room for their homework

The more hard work you put into the project the more reward you get! Show initiative, work independently and don’t be afraid of working hard. They need all the help you can give them.

About Your Location

The project is located in the historic center of Quito. The hostel is on walking distance from the dream center project.

Volunteer Introduction Week in Banos

If you have the time, we highly recommend starting with an Introduction Week in Banos so you will go well prepared to your project. This first week gives you an idea about life in Ecuador, shows highlights of the city and its surroundings, includes 20 hours of Spanish Group lessons, an in-depth volunteer preparation including language specifics, and other fun elements such as a half day Bike Tour and a half day Canopy bridge tour.

If you choose the Introduction Week, we will pick you up from the airport on Saturday in Quito, and your first nights’ accommodation is included. A private transfer from accommodation to bus station in Quito, where you will get assistance in buying a ticket from Quito to Banos, is included (bus ticket is not included). Lessons start on Monday, so you have Sunday to relax or check out the neighbourhood.

You will receive 20 hours of group lessons per week. On Monday you will meet your teacher and companions at the hostel and you will start this fun learning process. Your classes are scheduled 4 hours a day from Monday to Friday. During your stay will also have 2 extra activities: a half day Bike Tour and a half day Canopy bridge! Your teacher will also share with you tips about all the great places to visit in Baños for eating, drinking and dancing.

Your lessons can be tailored to your wishes or follow the textbook, depending on your Spanish level.

Public Holidays

The project is closed on the following public holidays:

2024
26 May
11 August
09 October
02-03 November
25 December

The project is closed during summer holidays.

2024
31 July - 04 September

2025
TBA

Mandatory Volunteer Requirements

Minimum age of 18
Police Clearance Certificate
All foreigners entering Ecuador are obliged to have a valid health insurance
Basic English.
Basic Spanish is an advantage, but not required

What Makes a Good Volunteer?

Volunteers need to be flexible and keep an open mind concerning their placements as situations can arise beyond our control which could require you to be placed at a different project than the one you have initially chosen. We will of course always do our utmost to fulfill your initial wishes but do remember that where you are going is quite different from where you are coming and as such one should be prepared for things not always going according to plan.

Volunteering and intercultural travel share a common trait: the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. This program is designed for proactive individuals and groups that are prepared to adapt to the local environment and its current needs. Naturally, the scheduling and activities of our program are subject to change. Alterations in activities are mainly due to changes in local conditions, which we believe is part of what makes overseas programs the interesting adventure and incredible learning experience that they are.

How Long Should I Volunteer?

Our projects range from 1 week up to approx. 30 weeks. Projects have a specified minimum stay, then it’s up to you how long you can commit. In our experience the longer you stay the more you will gain, as your understanding of the project broadens and you take on more responsibilities. Every volunteer will be given a certificate of appreciation at the end of their stay as a symbol of volunteering stay.
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Aktiviteetit

Work Schedule
You working week is Monday to Friday. You can work from 09:00 until 16:30. Discuss with your volunteer coordinator and the staff if you will work full days or half days and what the possibilities are. You will have your weekends free to explore Quito and the surrounding areas.

Recommendations
This is a tough project so please be patient, your volunteer work is extremely valuable and helps to keep the project running. You will learn a lot and at times you may get frustrated with the way things work in Ecuador. Organization and the pace at which things run may be very different to what you are used to but please take into account that these are cultural differences that you should respect. Although it is not necessary, it is highly appreciated if you bring donations with you like children’s clothes, shoes. And also educational or recreational play material would always be welcome.

Majoitus

Arrival Package Accommodation in Banos
The first night's (arrival day Saturday) accommodation in Banos is in in a very nice and cozy hostel, centrally located and with a very nice staff, unless you are making your own way to the project. Then the arrival day at the project is Sunday.

The hostel in Banos offers shared rooms with breakfast included. The hostel reception is open 24 hours and there is a concierge and a luggage storage space; the place also has a rooftop terrace, a café, free WIFI and a pool!

Dorm Accommodation in Quito
Accommodation is mixed gender, shared dorm room (either 4-,6-, or 8-people) at Masaya Hostal in Quito. Each dorm has blackout on each bed for your privacy, also a lamp, electrical outlets and USB. Free Wi-Fi is available at the hostel.

Located in the heart of the historic center of the city, Masaya a boutique hostel in Quito in a charming colonial house, a mixture of the colonial and the urban, is the perfect place to explore the largest and best conserved historic downtown is all Latin America, sounded by the most interesting plazas and streets like La Ronda, Plaza Grande, Plaza de Santo Domingo, Plaza de San Francisco, El Panecillo, the Basilica Church and lots of museums. The hostel offers incredible and generous spaces, a large garden, bright and comfortable bedrooms, to ensure you experience and stay there is pleasant. The hostel is on walking distance from the dream center project.

Homestay Accommodation in Quito
You will have a private room and in most cases a private bathroom also. Homestay families are located in the nice Floresta neighbourhood.

Please note: From Monday to Friday breakfast and dinner will be included in your homestay. On Saturday and Sunday meals are not included so that you have the chance to enjoy the local restaurants!
Once a week you family will offer you to wash a laundry load of your clothing.

Paikalliset kuljetukset

This project is available with or without an arrival transfer package. The package includes a transfer from Quito Airport to your accommodation and 1 night in a hostel. Arrival transfer package is included with the Intro Week, if you choose that option.

Please note:
If adding on the Banos week - your one way transfer from the hostel to the bus station in Quito is included and you will get help buying your ticket to Banos on the local bus. To return to Quito you can buy a bus ticket in Banos. Bus tickets are not included.

How to Get to the Project:
The project is within walking distance from the hostel.

Ateriat

Lunch only, Monday-Friday (except on holidays), is included if you choose dorm accommodation. Breakfast, lunch and dinner (Monday-Friday) are included if you have chosen homestay accommodation.

Lisäinfoa

Please don’t give money directly to co-workers, children or their family, but talk to our volunteer coordinator about how to most wisely invest it in the project.

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