Issue 2 | Volume 2 | 2015
N ewsletter
We have been called CEN IT for 24 years. Like everything in
life, CEN IT has evolved and undergone transformation. And
now, with the help of supportive and generous people with
professional skills and useful experience, like Ricardo and the
students from Universidad de las Americas, we have taken a
big step forward. We want to make CEN IT a nationally and
internationally known organization, and that started with
changing the logo. And now we are changing our name,
pending clarification of the legal process The new name ?
Integrated Childhood and Adolescence Center ? reflects our
expansion of services to help . ...(cont. p.2)
CEN IT developed its strategic plan for 2014 ? 2017 which
includes a communication plan with the goal of publicizing
the work of CEN IT at a local level. Through an evaluation led
by our communications volunteer Ricardo Izurieta, we
realized that CEN IT was not even recognized by neighbors
and communities in our area.
Furthermore, we learned the name of our institution ? Center
of the Working Girl ? was interpreted by many of those who
visit our website as a center that promotes child labor. This is
far from reality and the opposite of CEN IT?s purpose.
Walk for Int ernat ional W omen?s Day
On M arch 9, 2015, we celebrated International Women?s Day.
CEN IT has commemorated this important day for 24 years to
raise awareness about gender equality and the necessity to
continue to support women.
The event began with a march, led by the Peace Band of
José M aría Velasco Ibarra H igh school, where participants
walked through the Chiriyacu- Camal market to the Chiryacu
shopping mall.
We also had artistic and cultural presentations by the Sol de
Primavera Folkloric group, the dance group Años Dorados, and
poems read by CEA student M anuel Ramírez and our librarian
Lorraine Crouch.
We are all aware of instances in which women are victims of
domestic violence across all social stratums. It is necessary to
promote equal rights and the responsible exercise of those rights
with freedom, in order to secure a quality of life with equal
CEN IT does its job making mothers, women and girls aware of
their rights, raising their self- esteem through education and
information, providing guidance and offering an opportunity to
obtain a brighter future. CEN IT's vision has been to develop
comprehensive strategies of empowerment focused on this vulnerable population that is still relegated of their rights, whether by
the lack of knowledge or support.
CEN IT also affirms its commitment to advance the development of working boys, girls and adolescents and their
families? placing special emphasis on the support for women and girls? through education, biopsychosocial programs and other
projects facilitating personal growth and social change. We want to thank those people, high schools, primary schools and other
organizations who fight with us each day to find answers to the social problems our neighbors are still facing. Only with our
strength and unity can we attain equal rights and liberty for those we serve.
Centro Integral de la Niñez y
Adolescencia (CENIT)
[email protected]
Issue 2 | Volume 2 | 2015
...(cont. from p.1)
working boys, adolescents, and families in
vulnerable situations.
CEN IT ? Centro Integral de la N iñez y
Adolescencia ? is facing several internal and
external changes that without doubt will
require a major commitment, and will bring
more attention to our main goal: eradicating
child labor.
Extraordinary joy and jubilation are proclaimed on the
occasion of an event of particular importance: the
celebration of CEN IT?s 25 years.
As an institution run by the Congregation of Sisters of the
Good Shepherd, we thank God for giving us the
opportunity to joyfully serve Children, Adolescents and
their Family for 24 years. Thus, the year of preparation is
always an opportunity to deepen faith, hope, solidarity,
gratitude, rights, gender equality, and to live with a
renewed commitment to the mission and vision for which
it [CEN IT] was created.
As such, we invite all national and foreign volunteers,
sisters of the Congregation, and staff that have
collaborated and continue to collaborate with the
institution, to remember that on April 20, 2016, you are
the main guests of honor and protagonists in celebrating
together this momentous event. M ay the Virgin Dolorosa
be our protector and guide.
Centro Integral de la Niñez y
Adolescencia (CENIT)
[email protected]
Issue 2 | Volume 2 | 2015
Training for Beaut y and Empowerment :
What's the most challenging part of the project?
W it h These Two Hands
It would have to be the language barrier. I was having private
Spanish lessons before I came to Ecuador and I have 3 hours
private lessons every day before teaching the classes. I am
living with a family and it helps to be surrounded by the
language. I am lucky to have Christine, Jonathon and Z ach
around to help with translating, but the women understand.
Like I said, they teach me the words, I just do the action!
As a CEN IT volunteer, I meet so many truly inspiring people.
But there is one volunteer who arrived recently that
particularly amazed me. H er name is Casandra Weller. Born in
Australia and with 16 years of experience in hairdressing, she
has set up her own organization called With These Two
H ands. With These Two H ands is a training project dedicated
to empowering women by providing them with hairdressing
skills, allowing them to gain a better income and provide for
their families. She?s been a great hit with the CEN IT families.
She shared part of her story with me during an interview:
What's the most rewarding part of the project?
Definitely knowing I am contributing to the improvement of
someone?s life. It?s rewarding at the end of the day seeing how
much they are getting out of the training. I can feel it in the
hugs they give me!
Where did the idea for
With These Two H ands come from?
While I was backpacking through South America in 2012, I
met some volunteers working at CEN IT. I was asking how I
could be a volunteer and they told me about Ali, who wanted
to set up a hairdressing training school in the CEN IT grounds.
I have always wanted to learn Spanish and return to South
America. I love teaching and with the opportunity at CEN IT, I
knew I had to do it! I enjoy teaching and have a love for
South America so I was compelled to help.
H ow did you manage to set up the project?
I started by giving the project a name, a logo and a Facebook
page. Then I started a scissor donations drive. I asked
hairdressers to donate their old scissors, as I planned to have
them sharpened and bring them for the women to use. But I
did not need to; Excellent Edges Scissorsmiths donated 60
pairs of scissors and another company, Sharpline Scissors,
heard about us and donated 140 pairs. From here, I started an
online crowd funding campaign and organized a fundraising
dinner and raised $8,000. People were very helpful in talking
to me about fundraising, and setting up a ?non for profit?. I
have an amazing accountant who helped me set the project
up, a business consultant who helped with the website, and a
writer who helped with the content on the web page and who
wrote a press release, which got WT2H into the local paper. I
have been really lucky that people believe in me and have
helped me.
Support another Women's Empowerment project of CEN IT nadenaec
Issue 2 | Volume 2
Centro Integral de la Niñez y
| 2015
Issue 2 | Volume 2 | 2015
Adolescencia (CENIT)
[email protected]
N adena has also been working with the communication
department at UDLA, the University of the Americas, who
have been putting final touches on a new website and
Facebook page. Recent upgrades include photos of the
We at N adena are proud to have participated in the march for products? take a look at N or our Facebook page!
the International Women's Day on M arch 8, because we know Thank you, UDLA, for your help.!
the importance of celebrating the advances in women's rights.
Welcome new volunteers to N adena, Ricardo and M alin!!
We must still work hard to ensure women are involved in
politics, education and dignified work. We need the awareness
of society and the cooperation of all to achieve this.
Antonio Portilla, one of the owners of Fui Recyclado, was kind
enough to hold a workshop for the women who make the
earrings. With the help of the women, they developed a box
that would add value to the earrings.
On April 22 N adena celebrated Earth Day with an event held in
the "Spiral Cafe" located in La Floresta. We had a presentation
of the work of N adena and sold products. The event was
accompanied by good food with music and dance from the
Aché School of Dance. M any thanks to the Spiral Cafe for
their support of N adena!!
The sun is shining, it?s a beautiful day, and I take a moment
to congratulate myself for remembering to wear Factor 50
sunscreen. I?m marching through the market with an army of
singing children: ?Sol solecito calientame un poquito?, and I
notice an amused smile from the lady selling avocados and
Today is park day, and the beaming faces of these 2- to
5- year olds is enough to make any grown- up excited for a
morning of climbing, sliding and spinning. I run to my
favorite spot ? the slide ? and prepare to catch a stream of
children who will soon be throwing themselves down the
slope. The joy on their faces when they realize I have in fact
caught them at the bottom, despite their incredible speed, is
decision thinking I could handle a change like this, and
wondered if I was tough enough to stay the full five months. I
soon had to realize that it was all just part of adjusting ? to
the scenery, the temperature, the altitude and living with new
something that will never l eave me. This is where I belong and
it?s another rewarding day for me in Rescate Camal. But it
wasn?t always like this?
One month ago, I arrived in Ecuador, homesick and feeling
M y first day at CEN IT was a big leap forward. H aving
completed orientation the day before, I was now faced with a
classroom of running and playing children bombarding me
completely lost: ?Why have I come here? What am I doing?
This isn?t for me.? I thought I had made a ridiculous
with hugs, kisses and requests for my name. ...(cont. p.5)
Centro Integral de la Niñez y
Adolescencia (CENIT)
[email protected]
Issue 2 | Volume 2 | 2015
..(cont. from p.4)j
We played with toys and puzzles. We cleaned our teeth, hands and face, chatted and cuddled, sang lots of fun songs and
explored new topics: distance, emotions and water. And we cut and colored paper to make little pieces of art we proudly hung
up on the wall. Suddenly, it all started to fit into place.
M y morning in Rescate Camal now happens so naturally and I adore every single one of the children. As volunteers we?re here
to play, we?re here to educate, and we?re here to give them love and hugs. I don?t know how I?m ever going to be able to say
physically available to look into the eyes of a child, a woman,
a man and to offer what assistance we can ? to offer
A Day in t he Life of a Healt h
Team Volunt eer
Close to six months of living and working with CEN IT have
passed, each day full of adventure, challenges and learning.
N ow I explain this time with only a brief sentence, ?Yes, it
was an incredible experience,? while I inwardly dwell on the
kind face of a worker in the market who has struggled with
chronic hypertension for years, the inquisitive face of the CEA
boy asking which food is more nutritious, corn or potatoes,
the 18- year- old girl who has critical need of an eye
operation. I think of the daily strength and dedication put
forth by each teacher. I think of these people and I give thanks
that these marvelous beings have permitted me to share in
their lives for a little while . . . and with this we ?siga no
má s.?
Today marks the fifth day after returning to the States. I am
still trying to remember to put the toilet paper in the toilet
bowl instead of the trashcan and I still get an unusual amount
of enjoyment from the sensation of hot water flowing from
the faucet.
The time in Ecuador is 9: 15 in the morning. One of Clínica?s
team members is preparing to take two Rosa Virginia girls to
the dentist in this exact moment. She asks the teacher, ?está n
disponibles Jessica y Silvia para estar atendido por la
dentista?? ?Siga no má s,? Professor Fernanda says. During
this time, the Clínica volunteer and the R.V. girls will perhaps
discuss health themes the girls are interested in learning about,
or maybe they?ll turn to more cultural topics as they wait for
the dentist ? ?Está s casada?? ¿ Cómo le gusta a Ecuador??
Today is M onday, meaning that this same team member is
probably hurrying to return from the dentist to CEN IT in
order to help run the health education workshop. After
discussing such scientific marvels such as how the body
processes each food that enters into its digestive system, this
volunteer will follow- up with other students regarding
previously scheduled appointments. M eanwhile another team
member works with the social workers to learn more about
the history of a certain family and still another catches up
with the market workers.
Junio 14: Family Day at CENIT
A day in the life of a volunteer on the health team of CEN IT
truly is a grand adventure. During one day alone, we are
cleaners, scribes, patient advocates, health educators, and
liaisons with teachers, social workers, dentists, psychologists,
gynecologist and eye doctors from the public health system.
M aybe even more importantly, we are human beings
Jul io 13-24: Summer Camp
Jul io 10,13,16,17: Medical Brigade
Jul io 28-29: Annual Evaluation
DONATE: CEN IT has several partners through whom you can donate from your home country. In Germany/ Switzerland:
ViaN iños; in the U.K.: SON RISA; in the USA: ECH O. If you want to donate to CEN IT directly, you can find info on our
website If you have any further questions feel free to contact us at [email protected]
Like our facebook page at ht t p:// ecuador!