Fundación Sembrar works with families, children and youth to develop solutions to poverty and inequality in northwest Quito by providing early childhood education services, violence prevention and economic empowerment for women, and vocational, life skills and mentoring activities for youth.
Fundación Sembrar is a community-based organization which addresses the problem of extreme poverty in the slums of Quito, Ecuador. AVSI-USA has partnered with Sembrar since the beginning of its operations in 2008. Today, Sembrar assists 460 families, working with 800 children and youth.
AVSI began working in Quito in 2004 in response to the extensive needs of the rapidly growing populations of the marginalized neighborhoods northwest of the city. Pisulli – la Roldos, where Fundación Sembrar operates, are neighborhoods characterized by poverty, violence and isolation.
There are many broken families in these communities. Many are single parent households, often consisting of a young mother living with small children. One of the biggest challenges for sustained human development is education; only 1 in 7 members of the local population goes on to finish high school.
The lack of employment opportunities and the prevalence of violence present further problems for families and young people starting out in adult life. A culture of “machismo” is widespread in Ecuador. Nearly 70% of Ecuadorian women report being victims of domestic violence.
AVSI-USA partners with Fundación Sembrar to support the homeschool preschool program called Pre-escolar en la Casa (PelCa) which provides mothers with the knowledge, skills and the confidence needed to interact with their young children in ways that promote healthy bonding and early childhood intellectual development.
In addition, AVSI-USA supports after-school and summer programs for elementary school children and adolescents at the Centro Juvenil Luigi Giussani where young people build life skills and learn alternatives to substance abuse and violence.
- 120 children receive help with homework, supplemental nutrition, and recreational programs at the Centro Juvenil Luigi Giussani.
- 70 children and 50 families in the preschool program participate in nutritional education and home gardening programs.
- 150 young people ages 12-19 participate in programs that help students stay in school and away from drugs and gang involvement. Activities include academic reinforcement, vocational and life skills, mentoring and healthy recreational activities.
- 460 families, especially women, are accompanied to confront and reduce situations of violence and gain economic empowerment.