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Created on 20 April 1991, the Centro de la Niña Trabajadora (CENIT) is a non-profit organisation which, for over twenty three years, has been dedicated to developing methods and integral action programmes to welcome children and adolescents faced with risky and vulnerable situations, with the aim of eradicating child labour, improving opportunities and living conditions for this section of the city of Quito with the support of national and international volunteers. CENIT develops its activities in the marketing sectors of San Roque, Chiriyacu and the surrounding areas. The fight for the eradication of child labour is a large task in increasing awareness with mixed race and native families in this sector for cultural and social reasons:


-          For native families labour isn’t considered harmful for children, rather as an integrational activity into the community.


-          For mixed race families, child labour is a complement to family income


However, the above is a social problem, making child rights vulnerable, that CENIT is trying to solve with the daily work of its team of social workers, volunteers…


CENIT welcomes people of all religions or creeds and offers educational, psychological and medical programmes and thus capitation to work for working children and their families. Their hope is that with these services, children and their families will be able to improve their quality of life. CENIT’s ultimate goal is eradicating child labour and that every child or adolescent can determine their future. Up until now, 80% of the children and adolescents that CENIT has dealt with have resumed school



In Ecuador, almost 9% of children and adolescents work. For native families labour isn’t considered harmful for children, rather as an integrational activity into the community.Faced with this complex situation, CENIT is implementing a comprehensive vision which includes help for children and adolescents but also for their families through schooling support, socio-economic support for families, social and psychological monitoring, accompaniment in health topics and the development of traditional, practical skills in order to begin productive projects.

Andes / Pichincha
Kids Adolescents
Human Financial


June, Sunday 11 2017

April, Thursday 13 2017

September, Wenesday 7 2016

Welcome to the new CENIT volunteers!

September, Wenesday 7 2016

Welcome to the new CENIT volunteers! They represent 4 different countries: Poland, Belgium, Germany and Ecuador. Thank you so much for having chosen to volunteer with CENIT! The CENIT team is all very happy to have you here with them!

September, Wenesday 7 2016

Welcome to our new volunteers !

September, Wenesday 7 2016

The Casa of Juventus Mashi Pierre welcomes its two new volunteers: Diego Regosa is Italian, coming here for 6 months, and Elisabeth Tichon comes from Belgium and stays for 2 years. They already had the opportunity to meet the children of the Casa, and they did get a first very good contact with them all. They are coming with their real motivation to bring help in animations and in the coordination of the Casa. They have been kindly welcomed by the president of the association, the doctor Luis Antonio Vacacela, by sharing with each other the joy of local gastronomy!

Discover the "Rescate de Calle" programme

September, Thursday 1 2016

Rescate de Calle, our street outreach program, focuses on providing early childhood education to 3-5 year old children from Quito's market sectors of Camal and San Roque. This program also educates and raises awareness among their parents.

Rescate de Calle (Rescate) aims to restore and promote the fulfilment of rights for vulnerable and working children and adolescents in Quito’s poorest market sectors. The program identifies and analyzes specific sectors of the city where there are at-risk and vulnerable girls, boys and adolescent workers, with the goal to place them in the various educational programs offered by the organization or other educational institutions. The program currently operates in Quito’s Chiriyacu-Camal and San Roque markets.


Creating Awareness

Although child labour is an everyday occurrence in Quito, we believe that not all “everyday” occurrences in society are justified. RESCATE´s social workers coordinate with other institutions to build awareness of the harmfulness of child labour. They also educate parents on themes of fair treatment to initiate changes in familial relations that ensure the wellbeing of all family members.

Pre-school Education 

Many children spend the whole day accompanying their parents or working in the markets. Often they do not receive the attention or intellectual stimulation necessary to develop socially and mentally as fast as their non-working peers. RESCATE provides informal pre-school education that prepares 3 -5 year olds for their entrance into formal schooling and prevents them from becoming child workers. Our service focuses on motor skills, instruction on education basics such as learning colors and numbers, and development of good hygiene habits. A team of 10 – 15 volunteers along with paid Ecuadorian staff provide this service.

September, Thursday 1 2016

August, Thursday 25 2016

Discover the NADENA programme

August, Thursday 25 2016

These are the women in NADENA. Their magical hands transform a piece of paper into beautiful earrings. 

NADENA is a women`s empowerment project that aims to establish a successful business providing the public with ethical, direct-to-consumer, recycled products. The project gives women who make the products access to professional training, a valid form of incomeand a safe space where they can feel valued and recognized. Our products range from earrings, artisanal cards, and handbags.

July, Monday 18 2016

Closing ceremonies for CENIT's programs

July, Monday 18 2016

CENIT recently held closing ceremonies for CEA, its tutoring program, and its Pre-School programs in the Camal and San Roque markets. Each program organized their own celebrations with lots of games and delicious food. CENIT staff and volunteers ended the school year with bittersweet emotions. They were all joyous about their students entering the next stage of their lives, but also very emotional as they spent their last moments with them since they do not know when their lives will cross paths again.

July, Monday 18 2016

July, Friday 15 2016

CENIT's Primary School

July, Friday 15 2016

Among the obstacles they have faced, these students from CENIT's Primary School teach us the value of happiness, and to them happiness signifies having the opportunity to attend school. 

Escuela Primaria CENIT restores the right to education and recreation for working children and adolescents. The school offers primary and secondary education to children and adolescents between the ages of 8 and 21 who have previously dropped out of regular education and are behind in their studies. A great advantage of the school is that it allows students to enroll despite the fact that they be too old to attend other Ecuadorian schools. Any student who is eight years old or more and is two or more years behind can enroll.

The school is especially adapted to the needs of those who come from vulnerable backgrounds and many suffer from domestic violence, mistreatment, abuse, and negligence. Some of the students are refugees from Colombia who have fled from drug and gang violence. All students in Escuela Primaria CENIT receive support from social workers, psychologists, and health workers. One of the school`s achievement is that it has been able to significantly decrease the hours in which a child or adolescent works.

Primary Education 

Primary school students are given the opportunity to graduate up to the seventh year in three levels comprising three years. Children and adolescents who catch up in their studies to their normal grade level can enroll in regular schools.

Secondary Education 

Students can also continue their secondary education (eighth, ninth, and tenth year) if they are between the ages of 15 and 21 years old. They also have the option of participating in vocational workshops such as sewing.

June, Monday 20 2016

Introducing Alice to CENIT

June, Monday 20 2016


In the current year, CENIT (Integral Center for the Childhood and adolescent) has around 600 children and 30 families. The team is made by 23 teachers and 25 volunteers, distributed in two markets in San Roque and Camal. 

CENIT will celebrate the Family Day in June 12, as well as, the Day against Child Labor in June 15. A fair will be organized in the Camal market. And this summer, there will be summer and football camps for children.

Also, it was introduced the CENIT team to Alice, the new person in charge of One more Option mission for the year 2016-2017.




May, Tuesday 31 2016

May, Tuesday 17 2016

May, Tuesday 17 2016

Shared moments with the kids from CEA San Roque

February, Wenesday 10 2016

Last Friday our kids from CEA San Roque presented their activities they did with the foundation CRISFE. Every Friday our children go to this organization to play, do arts and crafts or paint. Since September they were doing activities related to personal values. At the end they wrote their own song about values which they presented to their parents. 
Fortunately a lot of parents came to share this moment with their children! 

To watch the video, follow the CENIT on Instagram:

Visit of a former volunteer

February, Wenesday 10 2016



On the 15th of January a Canadian who worked as volunteer 12 years ago, came back to CENIT. She came with her family - her husband and her two children - and brought lots of toys for our kids. Thanks a lot!

February, Wenesday 10 2016

February, Wenesday 10 2016

January, Friday 22 2016

November, Thursday 19 2015

How you can help


Non-profit organisation MIES and Ministery of Education

Barrio el Recreo, Quito, capital of Ecuador, Pichincha

Located in the south of Quito, CENIT has been working with the most vulnerable people for over twenty years. It began on 20 April 1991 as Centro de la Niña Trabajadora en la Calle Huacho y José Peralta. It was created by the congregation of the Good Shepherd’s sisters with the support of the Proyecto del Muchacho Trabajador del Banco Central del Ecuador.

Today, twenty three years later, CENIT has grown in coverage, attention and has developed new methodologies recognised by their institutional surroundings.

Calle Huacho y José Peralta, Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador.



The team is comprised of twenty five wage-earning people and approximately thirty volunteers. The permanent team is comprised of teachers, social workers, educators and administrators who share their work with the volunteers under the supervision of the executive team nominated by the Buen Pastor congregation

Project 1: Educational Support
The role of this department is to develop the educational model of CENIT. The coordination of the department assumes a relation with the areas described below.

Street Outreach: Responsible for approaching NNAs and families. It also provides support spaces for initial education. Beneficiaries: 80

Escuela Popular CENIT: Welcomes NNAs that haven’t started or that have left regular education; this school is related with “Unfinished Education” in accordance with the Ministry of Education requirements. Beneficiaries: 46

Centro de Formación Artesanal Rosa Virginia: Implements theoretical and practical training actions currently aimed at adolescents following an artisanal path of tailoring and embroidery. After the training, the participants benefit from a six month follow-up. Beneficiaries: 16

Centro de Apoyo Escolar (CEA): Responsible for schooling support, offers spaces accompanying carrying out tasks, teaching support and recreation to the children in the fiscal schools in the sector to improve their academic performance, avoiding living on the streets and dropping out of school. Beneficiaries: 70

MIFAMI (Family Training and Support): This area will be dedicated to the continuous training of parents, with the purpose of involving them in their children’s schooling process to achieve a positive change in relations within the family.

Project 2: Biopsychosocial Support
Objective: To strengthen attention in the social, psychological and health areas of all the NNAs and their families, promoting the practice of healthy lifestyles and respect for human rights within a supportive and harmonic cohabitation.

Social Work Area: Responsible for analysing the socio-economic reality of families and NNAs, motivating actions for the protection, restitution and enforceability of rights; it also coordinates the prevention of dropping out of school with the education department, through supporting family economy through scholarships.

Health Area: Covers the infirmary, the street clinic and the diet of the NNAs in the CENIT. The cases that don’t need to go to the health centre are attended to in the CENIT’s small infirmary (which doesn’t have a doctor). The CENIT personnel also guide families to the health centres: it makes appointments and accompanies people until they are independent enough to go alone. When the families ask, it supports them to make a health diagnosis. As well as this, CENIT raises health awareness.

Psychological Area: This area’s mission is implementing and executing processes with the NNAs and their families so they can plan and apply their life project. It also intends to allow them to improve their self-esteem and socialisation, learn skills for family cohesion, exercise their rights and assume their responsibilities.

To contribute to the eradication of child labour of NNAs in risky and vulnerable situations, promoting their and their family’s comprehensive development, by means of friendly and high-quality training and educational processes, which allow training people with a critical and creative sense, being agents of change in the socio-family surroundings.

1. To welcome NNAs and their families faced with risky situations, to promote their comprehensive development by means of friendly and high-quality training and educational processes, which allow training people with a critical and creative sense to reach their autonomy.
2. To strengthen attention in the social, psychological and health sectors of all the NNAs and their families, promoting the practice of healthy lifestyles and respect for human rights within a balanced and caring cohabitation.

The majority of the families who receive support from CENIT live in poverty. In these cases, the families take their children out of school to put them into the labour market as a form of generating income to make up the basic food basket ($602.12). A high percentage of children and adolescents that come to CENIT, as well as suffering from poverty, malnutrition, low access to education and social education come from numerous and dysfunctional homes of between six and nine members, in which there can be clear signs of physical and psychological mistreatment and sometimes signs of sexual abuse. There are also characteristics of gender violence. Young girls are twice as mistreated by their parents for being female: they aren’t integrated at school and suffer negligence.

In total CENIT permanently supports approximately 200 families.

Opening Hours: From 7am to 4pm