Why Vacation Programs?

Street Children

Vacations are a time of rest and recreation, fun and games without school duties.

Many of the streets in the various neighborhoods of Abdon Calderón, Ecuador are sandy rather than paved. Therefore, the children spend much of a vacation day playing on the small, dusty side streets in their neighborhood. They play with their friends in groups, or ride around on bicycles. As nice as this may sound, however, the vacation season is a time when children are exposed to many bad influences. With parents working, kids play outside during the day without the supervision and protection of adults. Even younger children, who are definitely too young for that, go out with their older siblings. At the same time, the older siblings themselves are usually not old and mature enough to take responsibility for their younger siblings and look after them. Drugs are circulating in the schools, so many teenagers slip into drug problems and also have a big influence on the younger children who come along with their siblings. So the supposedly nice playing outside becomes a bad influence for the children in the long run.

That is why as part of our prevention work we offer a vacation program for the children. Creative workshops, such as handicrafts, painting, cooking, dance workshops and various activities, like going swimming. During the workshops, the children not only have a fun program, but are supervised by adults who give them their full attention and offer them, at least for a few hours, a protected setting to be children. Encouragement, praise, motivation and encouragement from the team also have a positive influence on the children. While in Germany most children dream of various professions that they would like to pursue later, in many families here there has been a great lack of perspective for generations. Often the children cannot even think as far as to dream about their future. Since their parents don't know any different, they can't offer them any support at this point. Already the times in the vacation programs help to protect the children from bad influences and to give them a perspective for the future, because here they are encouraged and cared for by people who see and promote their potential. 

You can learn more about our drug and crime prevention program here.