Villa Ticca, Quito, Ecuador

Founded in 2003 by volunteers, Villa Ticca has grown exponentially since its inception - what began as 25 children and 2 volunteers crammed into a rented house grew as they gained momentum through the media. With the assistance of the Dutch Ambassador Frans Bijvoet and some television coverage, Villa Ticca soon had sponsors and as a result their very own place. This gave them the freedom they needed to expand their organisation, which was already in demand as their popularity grew throughout Quito. The services offered by Villa Ticca is available to the poorest families in the region as places are limited and the founders want to ensure that only those who truly need the organisation's help receive it, hence the need for expansion. 

It's not just about offering a safe haven for the disadvantaged children of Ecuador, whilst staying with the organisation the children have access to educational services too - with the majority of the staff at Villa Ticca being trained teachers or in the process of acquiring their teaching diploma. This is a chance for a better future for the children who otherwise would most likely not receive a formal education or certainly would not remain in education for particularly long and as such the work of Villa Ticca has the power to grant these children a way out of the poverty they live in. Another symptom of poverty is the malnourishment that affects a large proportion of the children who stay at Villa Ticca, it is he duties of the two chefs who work exceptionally hard to ensure that all of the children are fed two full, healthy meals a day and supplied with fruit in order to maintain a healthy diet. These simple pleasures are often denied to children living on the streets or in severe poverty and the effects of such a change in lifestyle cannot be underestimated considering the age at which these children receive support from the organisation. Aside from this it is also a wonderful effect of the organisation's work that these children are not only restored to health and educated, but they also get the chance to be children again - a chance to play, carelessly and with a free spirit, which they would not be able to enjoy had they not come under the organisation's protection. 

The work that they do with the single mothers of the children in care is also exceptional, through delivering training workshops and classes on life skills they are able to give the women another chance at life. This rare gift allows them to develop skills that can grant them access to financial independence, through the production of saleable goods and at the same time provides child care. During the time that the children are cared for, the parents are free to go out and earn an income that they would otherwise not have access to. This can improve the quality of life for the entire families and at the same time gives a loving, nurturing environment for the children. 

For more information on this organisation, please visit their website.
 Fun at Carnival 2014