Background on CENIT
CENIT welcomes people from all religions or creeds and offers educational, psychological, and medical programs, as well as job training, to working children and their families. Its hope is that with these services, the children and their families might improve their quality of life. CENIT complies with all the requirements of Ecuadorian law with regards to charities and is registered with the Ministry of Social Wellbeing. 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. As a result, despite the fact that CENIT's title is "The Center for the Working Girl", CENIT helps children and family members regardless of gender, although it continues to place special emphasis on helping female children due to the fact that they tend to have a disproportionately large workload. CENIT is able to be effective due to the variety of programs we have, all of which confront the problems of working children, each with a different emphasis.
Who Started and Who Runs CENIT?
The Sisters of the Good Shepherd, a Catholic order, founded CENIT in 1991 in response to their observations that the prevalence of child laborers in Quito had increased greatly due to urban migration, debt crisis, and an increase in poverty. They sought to give these children the necessary skills, talents, and education so that they could find work away from the streets and hopefully break the cycle of child laborers. Over fifteen years later, CENIT continues to be run by a group of nuns from the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. These nuns work in conjunction with Ecuadorian paid professionals (including teachers, administrators, psychologists and social workers), and around forty-fifty foreign and national volunteers in order to locate the child workers, befriend them and their families, and eventually integrate them into an educational program.
Who Does CENIT Help?
CENIT helps working children, their families, and members of the extended community. The schools give educational and life skills to around 120 children per year, many of whom would not otherwise have the opportunity. The street outreach program helps over 70 children and parents by bringing educational recourses to the streets, and our drop-in-tutoring center (CEA) provides tutoring to about 90 children, helping them integrate into the school system. Also we are helping people by providing general health services with our community health clinic.