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Melvin Jones

Their Pluses

In May 1995, under the leadership of Jorge Saavedra Nunez  and Eliana Palma of Saavedra, the medical-educational center Melvin Jones was officially created in the city of La Libertad, located in the province of Santa Elena, in southwest of Ecuador.

The perception of disability was very negative at this time; any child with a physical or mental handicap endured a heavy moral and social stigma that accompanied such a situation. The child’s family often suffered the effects of this vicious circle and the child found himself isolated and without access to care or quality education.

Aware that this perception of disability is linked to a misunderstanding of the latter, those involved in the center Melvin Jones have decided to take action to raise public awareness and bring together as many players around their project. (parents, faculty members, politicians, local civil society etc...).

To achieve the goal, the center has implemented outreach meetings involving people directly or indirectly affected by disability, in order to have a clear view of activities to implement.

Following these meetings, the center Melvin Jones has decided to support families with disabled children, with community care and a series of projects aimed at integrating the child in society .

Melvin Jones provides the children of these families, usually low-income, with school quality monitoring as well as appropriate vocational training facilitating their integration into the labor market.

In parallel to this substantive work, the organization’s founders, management and professionals deliver daily awareness-raising sessions at various civil society bodies, in order to increase consideration and insertion of people with disabilities within the society.

Numerous actions implemented in terms of education, vocational training and care, have improved the welfare recipients and have helped them gain autonomy.

Melvin Jones

Welcomes people with disabilities, generally from low-income families and offer them the opportunity to follow a tailored academic course, receive therapeutic care and professional education.

Coast / Santa Elena
Health Education Social and economic development
Kids Adolescents Young adults Adults


January, Saturday 17 2015

There's a lot going on at the Melvin Jones centre for integrated learning!

November, Saturday 15 2014

On 15th November, the Leones Salinas central club organised a Bingo night in support of the Melvin Jones Centre. The night was held at the centre – 600 people attended including many artists invited by Spondylus and the Melvin Jones students, such as the talented music group from the centre itself. This type of event allows the centre to expand their activities.

In fact, in additon to putting on classes and therapy for children and young people with disabilities, Melvin Jones also provides training and sessions to raise awareness. For example, in October, 20 children from the Escuela Fiscal Mixta Jose Pedro Varela attended a sign language class with the Melvin Jones language therapist. This school is mixed in that they have both able bodied and disabled students – a classmate of the students attending the workshop has a hearing impairment.

Another activity Melvin Jones undertakes is the monitoring of children and young people with disabilities within thir own homes – the aim is to improve their quality of life as part of the Project with MIES, which was confirmed just a short time ago. The activities taking place as part of this initiative include: evaluation of each child to get to know thm and monitor their progress, physiotherapy, education, medical support, routine daily activities, nutrition and diet advice, workshops with mothers to help them get an income (topics include bread making, painting, recycling and jewellery making).

Translated by Elizabeth Brook

A guided visit for all to Ecuador’s first museum of palaeontology

October, Monday 27 2014


On Monday 27th October, children and young people from the Melvin Jones education centre, together with their teachers, started the week with a visit to the palaeontology museum at the University of the Santa Elena peninsula. The university students had developed a visitor programme especially for people with disabilities, the same programme that the young people from Melvin Jones were invited to sample. The children and young people from the Melvin Jones centre enjoyed a guided tour and educational films – all for free.

 In other news, seven teachers have been taking part for the last six weeks in a Braille course at the Polytechnic University of Salesiana. Up till now, just one teacher has mastered the language. We are delighted with this news !

Translated by Elizabeth Brook

The Melvin Jones centre gets all dressed up to celebrate International Childhood Day.

May, Friday 31 2013

Officially celebrated on 1 June in Ecuador, International Childhood Day came a little early at the Melvin Jones centre, La Libertad. In other words, Juanita Chumo, the centre director, and her dedicated staff couldn't bear to spend only a single day on all the activities they had planned for the occasion.

So the festivities began on Thursday 30 May at 9 am. And what a beginning! The Mayor of La Libertad in person played host to five of the centre's beneficiaries for an offical breakfast.

The five guests were representative of each of the types of handicap treated by the centre: motor, visual, auditory, psychological and mental handicap. Each one a symbol. And each person took the opportunity to describe the problems they face before taking a guided tour of the municipal premises.

After this very serious morning, the pressure was taken off our five representatives. They joined the other beneficiaries and the centre's teachers for a relaxing afternoon at the cinema. And even here education was the theme; the activity was aimed at teaching young people to respect road signs, to obey instructions and in a general manner how to interact socially.


The following day, the whole of the Melvin Jones team was present at the centre. Pupils from the Libertad College came to participate in the event, together with members of the Lions Club and a handful of journalists who were curious about the gathering. Including students, their families, teachers and other guests, nearly 200 people were present for this festive afternoon. And what a party it was! First of all, the pupils of the nearby high school gave a dressed up representation, with songs and choreographies in which participate the pupils of Melvin Jones.



Then came the dance competitions involving parents and teachers, to a lively background of salsa and cumbia music. Then the beneficiaries got involved, accompanied by their able-bodied friends from the Libertad college, to remind everyone that dancing isn't about an "able/disabled" distinction. By this time the rhythms were infectious. So much so that our friends from the Super newspaper got up themselves to try out a few (clumsy) salsa steps!

Without a shadow of a doubt, these two days will remain in the memories of all those who were lucky enough to be present. They were two days of perfect communion between adolescents and adults, parents and teachers, able-bodied and disabled.

A word to the wise…

Melvin Jones delivers a workshop on inclusive education at Cerezal Bellavista School.

May, Wenesday 22 2013

Cerezal Bellavista School is an experimental agricultural school. It currently educates around 170 children; some of these are boarders. It has been open for three years, and it runs on an educational model inspired by Zamorano Agricultural University in Honduras.

In Cerezal Bellavista, the children “learn by doing”. Lessons are confined to the morning. In the afternoon, in groups, with the help of an agricultural engineer, the children take part in agricultural activities.

After a tour of the school buildings and grounds, Juanita Chumo, the Director of Melvin Jones Center, Mariela Ortega,  a psychologist, and Rebecca Labrador, a volunteer from UODP, delivered some training on inclusive education to teachers at the school. The goal of this training was to raise awareness among teachers about classroom habits which would guarantee equality of rights and opportunity for all children who have a disability and/or are in some way vulnerable.

Here is what Rebecca had to say about this training:

“Even though the school has not yet taken in any children with a disability, the short-term goal was to enable the school to offer inclusive education. For example, in two months’ time, the new school buildings will be finished, and equipped with access ramps.”

“The teachers were very interested and motivated to learn. Juanito Chumo left various training documentation with them so that they could further develop the methods they were taught.”

The team from Melvin Jones have a proven track record of delivering training of this kind. Hundreds of teachers from around Manabí have already benefited from their expertise. When it comes to spreading the model of inclusive education, Melvin Jones is a highly-valued partner to the Ecuadorian Ministry of Education. 

Melvin Jones takes part in the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD)

December, Monday 3 2012

Dignity, respect and decency were just some of the demands emblazoned on placards in a procession that kicked off this IDPWD. The fourteen associations and their beneficiaries marched through the streets of Santa Elena, accompanied by the Eugenio Espejo high school music group who came to lend their support.

After the parade, all the attendees gathered around the big central stage in the Parc Rocafuerte, which was given over to a series of different artistic performances throughout the morning. So it was that five young girls with hearing disabilities, all pupils at the Melvin Jones school, presented their choreography set to tropical, infectious music... and yet most of them couldn't hear even a note of it. The illusion was perfect, the girls' steps in rhythm. And the applause, fed by the 150-strong audience, showed that the public fully grasped the reality of the performance.

At the side of the stage there were also stands where the associations highlighted another of their pupils' capabilities: manual creations. Melvin Jones exhibited a range of artistic objects, such as decorative boxes made of papier mâché, and confectionery, also the handiwork of the association's beneficiaries.

The final word was spoken through the mic by a young girl suffering from impaired mobility: "We can create and produce things too, and we deserve proper attention from society!" And if this reminder was needed before, there's now no doubt that she's right.

Personal development workshop for mothers of physically handicapped children

October, Monday 22 2012

The reason for the creation of this workshop is the health situation of children affected by cerebral palsy and other associated disabilities.

The workshop was conducted with a group of ten mothers, and focused on improving their self-esteem.  To do so, we practiced relaxation techniques and devoted time to listening to our feelings and emotions, reflecting on how our lives have been with our children, and the impact on our families.

The group of mothers, who attend the centre for physical therapies and stimulation, face many obstacles in their daily lives, amongst them the health of their children, the lack of support for their families, inadequate medical attention and difficulties in relating to their surroundings.  All this amounts to a heavy burden resting on these women.

During the workshop, the women expressed the love which drives them to carry on for their children, this immense love which comes from a superior source to which the women turn day after day: from God, who gives them strength to keep on fighting for the progress of their children.  The workshop also provided an opportunity for women to exchange experiences with other mothers, who have older children, and to discover that they share the same values, such as hope, patience, tolerance, responsibility, joy and above all, love.

The participants made posters displaying these values to share with their families.  Now, they take part in the therapies and have become more willing and expressive, with the promise to return in the future for another workshop.

How you can help

February, Monday 2 2015

Adapted Physical Education Teacher

Besoins humains

Adapted Physical Education Teacher

Besoins humains

- Context:
Melvin Jones is an institution that accepts people with disabilities of different types (mainly people suffering from mental disorders and coming from disadvantaged backgrounds) from 1 to 45 years old and provides them with the possibility of undertaking an adapted education and receiving therapeutic assistance and professional training. The Melvin Jones Centre for Comprehensive Education would like to develop physical expression activities for its students.

•  Description of the mission:

•  to offer physical expression activities to the beneficiaries of the centre with the view of helping them better communicate, learn and improve their wellbeing.

•  to train other teachers so that the physical expression activities can continue being undertaken after the volunteer’s departure.

•  Key Responsibilities:

•  to develop physical expression activities to people with disabilities that are already catered for by the centre. These activities are to be developped with groups of students in the recreation areas and the courtyards of the centre.

•  to train the teachers of the centre who accept so that the physical expression activities may be pursued after the volunteer’s departure. To this purpose, the volunteer will write a document about his/her work that can be shared with the team of teachers so that they may undertake this activity.

- Location:
The volunteer will work on the campus of the centre:
Barrio 28 de Mayo, Av. 16 entre las calles 13 y 14; La Libertad; Ecuador.

•  Mission start date: May 2015

•  Job length: Minimum two months.

•  Work hours: Monday - Friday 8:30AM-12PM and 2PM-5:00PM

- Prior experience:
Prior experience with people with disabilities.

•  Education:
Physical Education Teacher.

•  Spanish Language Level:

•  Skills and Values:
Teaching skills

- Expenses paid for by the association:
Accommodation: The Melvin Jones Centre has a small housing unit (rural type) for one person, with a private bathroom and a kitchen area, on the campus.
Food: Lunch will be provided.

•  Expenses to be paid for by the volunteer:
Transportation and plane tickets, insurance, vaccines, food (except lunch) and personal expenses during the stay.

- How do you get to the organization from the nearest airport? What is the approximate duration of the trip?
From Guayaquil airport, the volunteer will need to go to the central Guayaquil bus station, from where he/she can take a coach from one of several transport companies (CLP, Liberpesa, or CICA; ticket price: 3.50 USD) to La Libertad.
At the central bus station of La Libertad, he/she then needs to take a taxi (1 USD) to the Melvin Jones Centre for Comprehensive Education (Barrio 28 de Mayo, Av. 16 entre las calles 13 y 14), which is located close by the Provincial Health Headquarters (Dirección Provincial de Salud).
The volunteer will need to be phone the centre upon arrival in Guayaquil.

•  Locally available transport ? (bus, car …)
Public transport, taxis and cars for hire.

resume and cover letter in Spanish.

February, Monday 2 2015
January, Thursday 1 2015

Speech and language therapist

Besoins humains

Speech and language therapist

Besoins humains

- Location: The volunteer will work on the organisation’s premises in Ecuador, at the following address: Barrio 28 de Mayo, Avenida 16 (between 13th and 14th streets), La Libertad (Ecuador)

•  Context: The organisation C.E.I. Melvin Jones receives persons between the ages of 1 and 45 with all kinds of disabilities, who usually come from low-income families. The organisation offers them the possibility of attending a school adapted to their needs as well as receiving therapeutic care and professional rehabilitation.

- Description of the mission: Individual therapy sessions on an hourly basis for persons with speech and language-learning disabilities.

•  Volunteering goals: To propose therapy to the persons attending the educational centre according to their speech and language impairments.

- Previous experience: Previous experience in this domain.

•  Education: Training in language or speech therapy.

•  Level of Spanish: At least intermediate level.

•  Required skills and qualities:
Independence Flexibility
Interest in working with persons with disabilities

- Expenses covered by C.E.I. Melvin Jones:
Accommodation: C.E.I. Melvin Jones can provide accommodation for one person in a rural environment. The accommodation is located inside the educational centre and includes a private bathroom and cooking space. Meals: the midday meal is provided by the centre.

•  Expenses covered by the volunteer:
Flights, insurance, vaccines, meals other than the midday meal, etc.

- Length of the mission: 6 months since may

•  Working hours per day and number of days per week:
Monday to Friday, 8:30 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 17:00.

•  How can I find the training centre from the nearest airport? How much time does it take to reach the centre from the airport? If you arrive at Guayaquil airport, you can take a taxi (USD 2) to the land terminal. From there, you can catch any of the following buses: CLP, LIBERPESA or CICA (USD 3.50). When you reach the company located in Avenida 9 de Octubre (La Libertad), you can take a taxi (USD 1) to C.E.I Melvin Jones (Barrio 28 de Mayo, Avenida 16, between 13th and 14th streets, next to the Provincial Health Department). The volunteer must call the centre to inform of his/her arrival in advance.

•  What means of transport can I use to travel to and from the centre? (public transport, car, etc.): Public transport, taxis and hire cars.

CV and motivation letter in spanish

January, Thursday 1 2015
December, Monday 1 2014

Graphics designer

Besoins humains

Graphics designer

Besoins humains

• Context of volunteer work:
Melvin Jones is an establishment which receives people, between one and forty five years old, with disabilities, generally coming from low-income families. It offers them the possibility to follow an adapted schooling, receive therapeutic assistance and professional training. The comprehensive Melvin Jones education centre needs to reinforce its auto financing capacity to be able to finance and guarantee stability in its work.

• Mission Description:
Owing to the uncertain nature of the institutional financing, Melvin Jones is looking to become independent from its lessors and and find other sources of finance. In the context of a cultural exchange with a German association (Guayas Ecuador Hilfe), Melvin Jones sent the drawings made by its beneficiaries. These drawings were well received, so commercialising the drawings was suggested. In this way a project was born; selling calendars illustrated with the drawings of the children in the Centre.

The institution created, with the help of a volunteer in 2013, 1500 calendars, sold at $5 each. Of these, 200 were in German, sold by their German partner, 200 in English, 50 in French and 1050 in Spanish.
The volunteer’s mission will consist of designing a new calendar for the year 2015 thanks to their computer graphics skills.

• Volunteer Goals
With the support of the whole team at the Melvin Jones Centre and also at Una Opción Más, the volunteer’s main goal will be to decorate two “Melvin Jones Calendars” for the year 2015, one adapted to the German civil year and the other to the Ecuadorian one.

• Location:
Barrio 28 de Mayo, Av. 16 between the roads 13 and 14 / La Libertad / Ecuador

• Previous experience:
Experience of a similar mission would be appreciated.

• Education:
Second or third year of computer graphics and design or another diploma in computer design.

• Level of Spanish:

• Required abilities and qualities:
Use of graphics programs, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, The Gimp, etc.
Independence, adaptability.
An interest in the work and people with a disability.

• Costs covered by Melvin Jones:
Lodging: Melvin Jones possesses a rural lodging for one person inside the education centre, with a private bathroom and a cooking space.
Food: The association will be responsible for lunch.

• Costs covered by the volunteer:
Plane tickets, insurance, vaccines, daily food except from lunch and personal costs during the stay.

• Mission Duration:
To be determined with the candidate. The mission will last one or two months.

• Working hours per day and number of working days per week:
From Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 17:00.

• Special conditions of the mission (optional):
The volunteer will be in charge of the tools necessary for carrying out the mission well (computer, programs…)

• How to arrive at the training centre from the closest airport. The average journey time from the airport to the establishment:
From the airport in Guayaquil the volunteer must go to the ground terminal by taxi (2 USD) and from there take the CLP, LIBERPESA, CICA bus (price per passenger 3.50 USD).

On arriving at the company located in La Libertad Av. 9 de Octubre, take a taxi to C.E.I Melvin Jones (Barrio 28 de Mayo, Av. 16 between the streets 13 and 14, on the side of the Dirección Provincial de Salud) by IUSS.

The volunteer should phone the institution in advance to advise of their arrival.

• The means of transport that are available around the organisation (public transport, car…):
Public transport, taxi and car hire.

CV + letter of motivation in Spanish

December, Monday 1 2014
January, Wenesday 1 2014

Specialist in Spanish sign language (Training)

Besoins humains

Specialist in Spanish sign language (Training)

Besoins humains

The Melvin Jones centre attends to a large group of hearing impaired individuals. impairments. There are not enough technical staff and teachers to pay sufficient attention to and communicate with the students. In order to enable all the teachers to better focus on the children and to work with them more efficiently at the Centre, we need a specialist to train the professional team in sign language.

-Field/topic to be covered by training:
Spanish sign language (Ecuadorian level one)

-Training objectives:
To train the professionals of the “Melvin Jones” education centre in sign language to enable them to communicate better with hearing impaired students.
To enable the team to pass on what they’ve learnt to the parents of the students.
To be able to rely on a group of professionals to work with people living in distant communities through basic community rehabilitation.

-Description of the desired training:
The training will be in small groups lasting two hours.

-Expectations and objectives of the foundation with regards to the training:
To enable hearing impaired children to become more integrated into society and improve communication with their respective family members.

-Length of training (hours/work days) and required attendance:
The training will last two weeks, from Monday to Friday. The trainer will deliver eight hours of training per day in two-hour blocks to each group, the staff will be available to the trainer during his/her stay.

-Typical day of training:
From 8:00AM to 10:00AM
10:00AM to 12:00PM
2:00PM to 4:00PM
4:00PM to 6:00PM

-Profile of the specialist/technician required to deliver the training:
Language therapist who would like to share his/her knowledge and experience, with a supportive, collaborative and patient attitude.

-Desired length of training:
Two weeks

-Proposed location to be used for training:
Within the centre

-Language of trainer:
Spanish, intermediate level

-Estimated costs of the training:
The institution will cover the room and board costs during the training in addition to the operating costs of the training.

-Hosting possibilities (accommodation, food, costs to be covered by the foundation):
Room and Board

Curriculum Vitae + Covering letter

January, Wenesday 1 2014
January, Wenesday 1 2014

Project and fundraising manager

Besoins humains

Project and fundraising manager

Besoins humains

=>Title of post:
Project and fundraising manager

=>Location of the mission:
Centro de Educación Integral “Melvin Jones”, barrio 28 de mayo: Av. 16 entre calles 13 y 14, La Libertad, Ecuador

=>Context in which the request was made:
Melvin Jones is an institution that works with disabled boys, girls and teenagers from the Santa Elena province. It has accomplished some of its goals but needs to strengthen and develop its partnerships

=>Description of the mission:
Our Center is a non-profit institution that has as its mission to bring quality care and a warm welcome to boys, girls, teenagers, and their families in order to secure their successful integration into the community. The objectives of the project manager’s mission will be to initiate reflection in the center with the collaboration of the team members, to draw up a schedule of activities inside and outside the center, and to generate funding from diverse sources with the objective of guaranteeing better reception for the children.

=>Objectives of the mission:
With the support of the entire Melvin Jones center team and the Une Option de Plus foundation, the volunteer will work to:
-Develop a logical framework to provide the overall structure for activities and projects in development now and in the future.
-Implement micro-income generating projects in relationship with those defined in the logical framework
-Participate in the conduct of these micro-projects.

=>Organizational sustainability with respect to the volunteer:
The mission’s objective is to help the Melvin Jones center acquire the tools and methods necessary for tracking projects, and to further advance the reorientation process of its partner organizations.

=>Length of the mission :
Six months if possible.

=>Number of hours per day and number of days worked per week:
Monday through Friday 8:30 to 12:00 and 2:00 to 5:00

=>Describe the volunteer’s typical day:
Organizing the workday
Outlining program strategies
Visiting projects
Organizing meetings to review the work performed

=>Special conditions of the mission (optional)
The institution proposes to seek among local friends for the help required for the proposed study.

=>Previous experience:
-International development and project management
-Management of private and non-profit organizations
-Experience of project implementation, methodology and tracking; ability to communicate with sponsors, and experience in drafting progress reports.

=>Educational background:
Training in project management

=>Level of Spanish:

=>Skills and qualifications required:
-Interest in international cooperation
-Ability to create good relationships
-Patience and independence
-Ability to transmit knowledge
-Ability to adapt
-Ability to create good relationships with children

=>Costs covered by the association:
Melvin Jones possesses an eco-friendly building that can serve to accommodate one person.

=>Costs covered by the volunteer:
The Center is committed to finding accommodation at a reduced cost for the volunteer.

=>Type of proposed reception (housing, food, etc.):

=>How to get to the place of training from the nearest airport. Approximate travel time between the airport and the structure.
From Guayaquil airport, the volunteer should transfer to the bus terminal or taxi ($2) and from there take a CLP bus, LIBERPESA, CICA for $3.50.
Upon arriving at La Libertad Av. 9 de octubre, take a taxi for $1 to C.E.I “Melvin Jones” (B. 28 de mayo: Av. 16 between 13th and 14th streets - next to la Dirección de Salud Provincial). Don’t forget to notify the institution in advance on +593 (0) 2782744 (the institution’s landline) or +593 (0)88725197 (the educational director’s cell phone number).

Curriculum Vitae+Cover letter in Spanish

January, Wenesday 1 2014


Nonprofits educational centre of Private Law with a social or public goal, legally established in No. 179 of May 8,1995 Education ministry

Melvin Jones center is located in La Libertad to the west of the province of Santa Elena. La Libertad is a city in southwestern Ecuador, capital of La Libertad district, located 110 kilometers from Guayaquil, which is the economic capital of the country.
At the head of a district of 95 942 inhabitants (according to the census conducted in 2010 by the national institute of statistics and censuses) La Libertad is the economic capital of the region due to employments generated by the fishing and oil industries.

Aware of the fact that many families with disabled children were in a vulnerable situation, Mr Jorge Núñez Saavedra, then-president of the Lions Club of Salinas-Central, proposed a motion to establish a support centre for their benefit. This motion having been approved, contacts were then established with the Guayas provincial department of the Ministry of Education in order to raise awareness with the staff about disability issues in the region.

This then led to a census which was undertaken to quantify the number of children with disabilities in the area, something had never previously been done. This census also aimed to identify the potential of a structure that could accommodate future beneficiaries, raise awareness among the population regarding disability issues, and reach out to parents about the importance of supporting quality education for their children.

In 1994, the census confirmed the urgent need to establish such a structure. It was also decided that the structure should also cater for families with few economic resources.

Recognizing the importance of gaining support among the many stakeholders around this project, outreach meetings involving people directly or indirectly affected by disabilities were held in order to have a clear view of activities to implement.
On May 8, 1995, the Melvin Jones Centre officially became a nonprofit institution under Ecuadorian law, under the patronage of the Ministry of Education. This recognition as a legally incorporated structure will allow it to start its activities and welcome children, which was not previously possible for legal reasons.
The first activity was set up at the home of one of the members of the Lions Club of Salinas-Central in preparation for supporting children with hearing loss issues.
Soon thereafter, support workshops designed for children with developmental handicaps or palsy were established. In 2000, it was decided that the area that was provided to the centre by the Lions Club of Salinas-Central to carry out its activities was too small and crowded. The NGO thus soon considered a proposal to build a more spacious and ergonomic facility that could welcome a larger number of children.
Led by Jorge Núñez Saavedra and Eliana Palma de Saavedra, the municipality of La Libertad (who donated the land) and with the financial support of the German NGO Guayas Ecuador Hilfe, this construction project went ahead. The new facility, which opened on July 20, 2002, still stands today and offers children academic coaching, healthcare services, and training to accompany young adults into the workplace.
In 1995, the centre catered for 28 children. Now, Melvin Jones receives 177 children every day, as well as a number of occasional visitors. The centre asks parents for a contribution so that they can be involved in the education process developed for their children.

Featuring today a structure adapted to the needs of its beneficiaries, the centre has always aimed to improve its services vis-à-vis the children it welcomes, but also to transfer its methodology to civil society and notably to teachers in the public school system through regular training sessions.

Barrio 28 de Mayo, Av 16, entre calles 13 y 14, La Libertad, Santa Elena, Ecuador

La Libertad

Reception: +593 (0)4 27 82 744
Juanita Chumo de Tamayo, director: + 593 (0)4 27 84 290 / + 593 (0)9 87 25 197
Eliana de Palma, president : + 593 (0)4 27 83 969 / + 593 (0)9 34 50 236
Carmen Olives, secretary: + 593 (0)4 27 74 117 / + 593 (0)9 41 70 925 of the centre) secretary)

The founding members of the centre in 1995 are still present today within the structure. Their respective roles have not changed much, even though currently they can count on their very competent staff, which allows the centre to function well. The team is committed and united behind the goals set by the centre. It is open to any external support that could enable it to develop new activities.

Contribute to the well-being and autonomy of people with disabilities

SG1. Promote access to education for children with disabilities.

SG2. Improve the quality of life and health status of children with disabilities.

SG3. Improve the autonomy of people with disabilities.

SG4. Facilitate the professional integration of youth and young adult beneficiaries from the centre.

SG5. Reach out to other children with disabilities not catered for the by the Centre about the importance of receiving special needs assistance.

1. Care centre for children with disabilities. The objective is to provide children with healthcare that is adapted to their individual situation. This involves a technical team with diverse skills to provide the most comprehensive level of monitoring possible and improve the well-being to each child. The Melvin Jones Centre develops activities organised around the needs of the child and his/her family with the view of improving his/her long-term well-being. Melvin Jones seeks primarily to facilitate the integration of children with disabilities and reduce the social disadvantages they may face. This project is based on the idea that children with disabilities can attend the same social integration as children without disabilities. The objective is to ensure that children with disabilities and their families become take an active part in the decisions that involve them and are integrated into the community.

2. Accompanying beneficiaries in the professional world. Melvin Jones considers that the acceptance of difference is not something that can be taken for granted and it is important to work on raising awareness among civil society actors on the phenomenon of disability and its implications. Besides raising awareness, the centre sets up a series of professional training workshops to help recipients become fully integrated into society and develop themselves. The centre tries to instill in all its educators, teachers, therapists, staff and parents of students that it is very important to accompany the child throughout his or her professional integration. This process consists of three phases: orientation, training and integration. Each phase is considered as an element necessary for the preparation to the next phase.

3. Access to autonomy for disabled children. The association organises various workshops to facilitate integration and access to the autonomy of adolescents and young adults. These workshops address aspects of everyday life through simple but routine tasks (cooking, domestic chores, shopping...). Assuming that many external factors are influencing the degree of autonomy of the person with a disability (physical or not), the staff of the centre tries to the upmost for each child to be simulated and frequently confronted to daily life situations.

4. Awareness workshops destined for civil society. The Centre set up awareness workshops for public education teachers in the province of Santa Elena so that they can improve the integration of children with disabilities in their classrooms. Parents of disabled children also benefit from training sessions. Along with the technical team, they construct appropriate programs and a personalised plan of education specific to each child. The association wishes to raise awareness for society as a whole, through awareness and support workshops so that the phenomenon of disability becomes more acceptable and considered.

1. Activities related to SG1 (promote access to education for children with disabilities):
- providing courses adapted to handicaps of each child attending the Center

•  providing courses for students affected with hearing loss issues

•  providing training on working with computers.

2. Activities related to SG2 (improve the quality of life and health status of children with disabilities):

•  physiotherapy sessions which aim to assess, restore and maintain the physical functions of each individual (paraffin equipment, pacemaker, parallel bars, hot and cold compresses, infrared); audiometry;

•  counseling sessions that encourage the child with special learning needs to maximise his or her ability to learn and transfer it to the problems encountered in daily life.

•  Speech therapy sessions to treat joint disorders, speech, voice, the spoken and written language, and those of communication.

3. Activities related to SG3 (improve the autonomy of people with disabilities):

•  behavioural therapy sessions. This activity is to replicate situations of everyday life (outings, participation in events (sporting, cultural...), personal hygiene, cooking workshop...)

•  occupational therapy sessions conducted in a domestic-workshop space where beneficiaries learn to perform various chores.

4. Activities related to SG4 (facilitate the professional integration of youth and young adult beneficiaries from the centre)
- cloth work;

•  handicrafts (creating works out of papier-mâché, making rag dolls...);

•  baking workshop;

•  training for the aesthetic jobs (hairdresser, manicures).

5. Activities related to SS5 (reach out to other children with disabilities not catered for the by the Centre about the importance of receiving special needs assistance):

•  providing advice and training for teachers of the public education schools in terms of establishing appropriate educational tools or adapted spaces;

•  awareness sessions for parents regarding the needs of inclusive education for children with special needs.

Directly affected population:
177 children, adolescents and adults, aged between 1 and 45, benefit from the activities developed by the Melvin Jones Centre. The social and geographical origin of children and adolescents enrolled in school is very diverse. The Center is the only one of its kind in the township of La Libertad, and some families who live far away from the structure do not hesitate to make long journeys for the welfare of their children. Registration is open to all, regardless of age or condition of economic resources. Financial participation, even symbolic, however, is required for all families so that they are fully invested in the education project of their child undertaken at the Melvin Jones Centre.

Population affected indirectly:
The action of Melvin Jones also benefits parents of school children through training workshops, advice or field visits by staff working within or in partnership with Melvin Jones. No studies have been conducted specifically to determine the impact of the Center on the wider community and the affected population is difficult to identify. Meetings within and outside the structure, training sessions for teachers from neighbouring schools, events conducted within the structure can reach a large number of people without being able to advance a specific figure. Finally, there are all those who, while not receiving direct training, are aware of the problems treated, through the centre’s radio ads, posters, flyers and via their participation in roundtables training.