The Special Needs Program
This program is crucial to the lives of children and infants with disabilities in the specialist home and day care Love Volunteers support. Volunteers undertaking this project will contribute their time and energy to taking care of children in real need. Without volunteers the sustainability of the home and day care would be in question, with volunteers providing essential free labor to ensure children can continue to be given care both high in quality and compassion. The children live in a specialist home that provides special attention to children and infants from 0-14 years old who have few economical resources. Services offered at the facility are for chronic and incurable diseases, as well as rehabilitation. They also have a day care centre onsite that works as a kindergarten for children with special needs where they can receive therapy, food, medical and psychological attention. Volunteers ensure that physical therapy, stimulation and care are provided for these vulnerable children, as well as bringing joy and love to their lives.
Goals of this Project:
- Provide care to vulnerable infants and children with disabilities
- Improve the future prospects of some of Quito’s most marginalized citizens
- Provide a caring, fun and educational environment for the children
- Create inter-cultural understanding which benefits both residents and international volunteers alike
How You Can Help
For the vulnerable children with disabilities, many of whom have been simply abandoned by their families, this program is absolutely crucial to their lives. This program provides essential volunteer labor to vulnerable children and infants who simply are unable to physically or mentally help themselves. Working with children with disabilities can be difficult, but it can also be the most rewarding volunteer work someone will ever do. For those wanting a volunteer experience that will truly make a difference to the lives of others, this program will deliver. Without a free volunteer labor force, sufficient care would simply be unable to be given to the residents of this home. Volunteers allow the program to continue to offer quality care and wonderful experiences for these deserving children. Participants on this project will gain a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help those who truly need their support, and gain valuable experience in caring and working for those with disabilities.
Volunteers on this program will participate in a variety of tasks and can expect to:
- Play games with the children and keep them entertained
- Help to feed those in need
- Care for the children
- Share experiences, talk to and spend time with children
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to assist in the support and development of some of Ecuador's most marginalized children and young adults. While this highly rewarding project does not require participants to have a background in the field of special needs care, as there are many ways you can assist, volunteers with suitable education, qualifications or experience are highly sought after. Regardless, a volunteer’s individual role can often be tailored to suit their particular skills and interests. Volunteers on this project will need an understanding of Spanish in order to communicate effectively with the children and local staff members. All applicants must of course display a genuine willingness to help, show drive, initiative and compassion, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Police check
This program is based in the beautiful city of Quito, where volunteers will find their help is invaluable and very much in need. Quito is a beautiful city filled with significant architecture, friendly people and fun places to visit – making it a fabulous city to volunteer in.
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon your arrival in Quito, you will be collected at the airport and delivered to your accommodation. On Monday morning, after making your way to the local project offices, you will receive an orientation to help you settle in, find out about your volunteering placement, the local surroundings and meet your fellow volunteers. A representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have. You will then be taken to your assigned project site and introduced to the project team you will be working with. Easy!
- Program Arrival Day: SUNDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Mariscal Sucre International Airport, Quito, Ecuador (Code: UIO)
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers on this project are primarily accommodated in one of our local teams' Volunteer Apartments, which are centrally located and close to the offices of our local team. These apartments are ‘self-catered’ – perfect for those volunteers who prefer to cook for themselves and without the restriction that come with staying in someone else's home.
All standard amenities are available, including full kitchen facilities, hot running water and modern bathrooms. Wifi is also available (additional charges may apply in some cases).
For those who prefer, home-stay options are also available and include breakfast and dinner. Staying with one of our wonderful local host families in Quito is an excellent way to 'live like the locals do' and get first hand experience of local culture and customs. As meals are included when staying with a host family, there is a surcharge of US$9 per day, which is in addition to the listed program fees above.
If you would like to upgrade to Host Family accommodation, simply let us know!
With its reputation for superb exotic fruits, unsurpassed fish and seafood, and not least the numerous varieties of Andean potatoes, Ecuador offers the taste buds a veritable feast. Among the traditional dishes that volunteers might want to try whilst in Ecuador are: Seco de Pollo, Menestra and Ecuadorian Churrasco - a plate consisting of roast meat, a fried egg, chips and fried plantain - or even the great delicacy, guinea pig. For savoury main courses, the hot sauce aji is often used. Easily and very cheaply available from bakers’ shops are empanadas (warm pastry pockets containing meat or cheese), llapingachos (potato and cheese pancakes) and tempting sweet pastries.
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.
Want to learn Spanish?
Why not use this opportunity to improve your knowledge of Spanish and really get immersed in the local culture during your volunteering placement? We can offer part time Spanish classes at very competitive rates for you, so simply let us know if you are interested!
Part-time Spanish Lessons (taken in conjunction with volunteer work):
Fees for Spanish Classes must be paid directly to your volunteer coordinator on arrival in Ecuador.
Staying extra nights?
Additional nights' accommodation can be arranged at a cost of $11 per night in the Volunteer Apartments or $21 per night with host families. Just let us know in advance so that we can book this in.