In this pandemic, children have experienced deprivation, fear, violence up close and at the same time they have gone through a learning process. Today marks International Children’s Day.
During the isolation, 19 homicides, murders and 11 suicides of children and adolescents were recorded, according to data from the Council for the Protection of Rights of Quito. And femicides in Ecuador during the pandemic orphaned 85 minors. The 762 cases of attacks, reported from January to October, are not to be outdone.
The World Vision organization, which works with minors in the south of Quito, is developing a supported project with children from the capital, in the Beaterio and Caupicho sectors: El conde, Runa Kawsay, La Cocha, Jardines del Sur, Santa Fe , Ecasa, Edén del Sur, Venceremos 2, Santa Isabel, Venceremos 1, among others.
There are 1,500 children registered in the assistance program, 800 families have directly benefited from it. Includes delivery of food, education and hygiene kits; activation and training of community volunteers for the protection of children and adolescents.
Leslie, 11, is part of the program. The miner shares that the pandemic has been a difficult time, not only for fear that his parents will be infected when it comes time to go to work, but also because of dwindling resources in the family.
However, the crisis has left a positive face. She knows more about the rights of minors, that violence is not acceptable, that parents must spend more time with their children, that they must have access to education.
Leslie says there isn’t much they can share with their father because he has to work several hours. Her mother, on the other hand, is only called to work on certain days. She has two brothers: Dilan, 13, and Franklin, three.
The young girl had started a process of rights training through her participation in camps organized by World Vision, but due to the pandemic she could not continue. Now the training is virtual.
She adds that there was a time when they had no food due to reduced resources. They gave them kits and it helped them. And “thank goodness no one in my family is infected with covid-19”.
Even before the pandemic, minors faced situations of violence. The Situation of Children and Adolescents in Ecuador, a look at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) study, carried out in 2019 by World Vision Ecuador, in collaboration with other organizations, shows that three in ten are punished physically by of their parents.
The main ones: beatings, confinement, cold water baths, eviction from the home, deprivation of food, insults and teasing. Young boys and girls, aged 5 to 11, are the ones who receive the most attacks in their homes.
Hence the importance of new proposals, public policies and the fact that children know their rights. From the municipality, the Council of San José has brigades for the care of minors and the identification of cases that deserve attention.
The organization in Ecuador, for its part, has community volunteers who are responsible for receiving complaints from families and forwarding them to the competent authorities.