Giving Children and Youth a Voice in Ecuador

by Daniel Kertesz
ChildFund Web Developer

Editor’s note: This posting was updated on April 14 to make corrections to the content and caption, clarifying that the young people are members of a ChildFund Ecuador youth group enrolled in training to be community reporters. They have not yet completed the training program as previously reported.

This past week has certainly been a busy one. Following introductions with the Ecuador National Office staff, we gathered in a large meeting room to go over what is expected of everyone to ensure ChildFund Ecuador’s new Web site will launch by the specified date.

The developers of the site do not speak a lot of English (nor I, Spanish), so I’ve been spending quite a bit of time with translators. The real challenge here is to try and describe some of the technical terms the translator does not understand in a way that makes sense.

The closer we get to delivery time, the more excited we get. ChildFund’s Ecuador office has already produced an excellent Web site, and the content for the site was actually gathered by the youth in the project areas. They are enrolled in a program called “Youth Reporters,” and from the content we’ve seen so far, they are doing an excellent job.

Toward the end of the day Wednesday, we learned that members of the Ecuador office, as well as the lead on the site development were actually meeting with members of a ChildFund youth group in a room next to us. So, I scrambled back to the hotel to grab my cameras, and following a few debacles with batteries upon return, we managed to film and interview some of the youth who are enrolled in a program to become community reporters. What came as an incredible surprise was finding out that some of the reporters in training were actually once enrolled in the ChildFund sponsorship program!

ChildFund Ecuador is training members of a youth group to be community reporters.

We interviewed three youth about the program, how they felt about sponsorship and so forth. Following our battery of questions, we extended to them the opportunity to ask questions of us. And let me tell you, this Youth Reporters training program has most certainly paid off. At one point, one of the youth seemed to ask more questions of us than we did of him. I can’t blame anyone for their curiosity, so I was more than happy to oblige.

These young people demonstrated the success of the child sponsorship program. One had graduated from the program and had recently passed the certification test to become a professor. He is currently waiting to hear from the Ecuadorian government as to his assigned location for teaching. He’s expressed a desire to remain in the Cotopaxi area so he can be close to his community.

Today is the last day most of us in Web site development group will be together. I’ll be staying on for a few more days to visit some of the ChildFund project areas in Cotopaxi, but everyone else will be heading out the door today and tomorrow.

They’ll be leaving me in good hands though, because the staff here in Ecuador are courteous and knowledgeable, and I’m glad to get the opportunity to work so closely with them.

One response to “Giving Children and Youth a Voice in Ecuador

  1. waiting eagerly to see the Ecuador website going live. India is going to follow suit. We need to do some overhaul of our website in line with that of Ecuador’s. Web contents are being developed – youth reporters idea is picking up…All the best!!