Ali Pickard and I believe in tackling poverty at its roots. The mothers are often not educated, many are abused. They work twelve hours a day for very little money and as a result many children have to work to support their family. The children beg on the streets and buses and we hope that by enabling the parents to earn a just wage that the children will be encouraged to be educated. We are supporting a society who falls out of the normal government guidelines. Some have no homes so without an address they cannot get medical or dental help. They have no money for prescriptions.
CENIT, El Centro de la Niña Trabajadora, or the Center for the Working Girl as it is known in English, is a non-governmental, non-profit organization devoted to helping working children, and especially working girls, and their families overcome grinding poverty and improve their quality of lives through education and job training, nutrition programs, health and social services, psychological help, and recreation. CENIT welcomes people from all religions or creeds. In addition to job training it offers educational, psychological, and medical programs to working children and their families. Our hope is that with these services the children and their families might improve their quality of life. CENIT is situated in the south of Quito, near to the Camal Market, and is well positioned to help some of the poorest families in Quito. The majority of the children have suffered from various types of abuse, be it psychological, physical or sexual. As a result they often have deep-rooted problems. We at CENIT are of the belief that in order to achieve a real change in the life of any individual, it is necessary to work with the child, his or her family, and the community.
Our project is giving the women specialist knowledge to make high quality goods which we will market. We will use recycled materials to make bags, jewellery, clothing and puppets. We need funds to buy materials, equipment and specialists. The project is about empowering the women to help break the cycle of poverty and in turn this helps the children, not only financially, but with stronger role models.
We hope that by teaching the mothers how to make goods that are marketable and improving their income they will become self-sufficient and gain self-worth. They and their children will see the advantage of education. Cenit also provides strong social support to the families. Some of the women come from a sexual abuse background so there are deep-rooted and on-going psychological problems of trust which group work will address. Many of these women have come from the countryside, where they grew food and were able to sustain themselves, to work in the markets of Quito where they earn a below average income and are at hunger level.