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07.10.2009 11:40

Ecuador has its XICS


The new centre caters for 160 boys and girls aged 7 to 16 years in the forgotten district of Las Cumbres in Portoviejo, Ecuador.

The Fundació FC Barcelona inaugurated a new XICS centre on Tuesday, the first in Ecuador. It is located in the neighbourhood of Las Cumbres, Portoviejo, capital of the province of Manabí, an area lacking in basic infrastructure where broken families live in an atmosphere where there are high rates of domestic violence.

The inauguration of the Centre was attended by club president Joan Laporta, the director general of the Fundació FC Barcelona, Marta Segú, and reporter ENG Mariano Zambrano, prefect of Manabí, Dr. Humberto Guillem, Mayor of Portoviejo, Monsignor Lorenzo Voltolini, archbishop of Manabí, and Joseba Lazcano, national director of Fe y Alegría.

The project involved the participation of the Fe y Alegría Association as co-executing organisation and AECID (Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional y Desarrollo), the Provincial Council of Manabí and Portoviejo Council as co-financers. Other collaborators include the Archdioceses of Manabí and the Congregación de Esclavas del Divino Corazón. The investment made by the Fundació FC Barcelona to its XICS Ecuador has totalled around 400,000 euros since 2007.

Help for children

One of the main objectives of the XICS Ecuador is to reduce school failure and absenteeism and to provide integral support to the ‘chamberito’ children that live off the waste dumps a few kilometres away from the solidarity centre.

The ‘chamberitos’ scour the rubbish and find certain materials to afterwards be sold. The children are not only exposed to contamination and the risk of infection, but also suffer physical, mental, social and moral development disorders.

2,000 m² of education, social and sports infrastructures

IMG_4023.JPGXICS Ecuador offers extra education via play activities and psychological, health and nutrition support. Their education is supported by computer, art, craft, dance therapy and sports activities, plus vocational training for over 16s that have not had a proper education. The children are also assessed for health, given basic nursing lessons, and their mothers and fathers are helped with their literacy.

The XICS Ecuador teaching staff consists of 11 people: a director, an administrative worker, 3 educators, a computer teacher, two sports teachers and a health worker, as well as two Spanish volunteers. This is the first solidarity centre to use community mobilisation as a core element of its work.

Local collaboration

The project started using the XICS facilities in December 2008, although education work had commenced earlier, in 2007, in the Fe y Alegría classrooms next to the new centre. The centre measures 400 m², and shares facilities with the school next door, which in turn is complemented by the CECAL vocational training centre, run by the same organisation, thus creating a safe social and educational circuit for more than 2,000 boys and girls in the district, offering them the chance to choose the kind of future they want and also playing an active role in the social, economic and political development of their community.

Ecuador has its XICS
JES Ecuador: to be held on October 13 and 16
The same facilities, following the inauguration of the Ecuador XICS Centre will be the venue from October 13 to 16 of a new edition of the Solidarity Sports Days (JES), which involve the participation of thirty or so educators from the province of Manabí.

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