I started Monday at my internship in the south part of Quito. It's in a kind of sketchy neighborhood, so I don't bring anything other than my bus fare so I can get home. I'm volunteering at CENIT (Centro de la niña trabajadora), a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that focuses on improving the lives of working children and their families.
In addition to education and job training, CENIT provides health and social services, nutrition programs, psychological help, and recreation for children whose limited economic means or troublesome behavior has prevented them from integrating in a traditional classroom setting.
As a Nonprofit Leadership & Management major (NPL) (yes, that is a real major), I dabble in studies about the nonprofit sector as a whole, fundraising, program evaluation, volunteerism, counseling, and leadership.
After deciding that I wanted to complete my internship while abroad, I started to look for an organization with which I could volunteer in a specific role during my four and half months abroad. I found CENIT online, then heard about a short-term volunteer experience there from a lovely young lady I with whom I worked in Kansas this summer, so I pursued the volunteer coordinator in an attempt to earn a position. Luckily, it worked out perfectly, and I can spend my MWF afternoons there.
Even though I have to take an hour long bus ride (which is even less comfortable than it sounds) to get to the south, I have loved the internship so far. I'm helping the organization to develop a long term fundraising strategy as well as help with the immediate need of short term fundraising to avoid dissolution by the government. (Btw, if you want to help, you can donate online at the current campaign web site. It all helps!)
I am looking forward to my semester with CENIT because it combines both of my majors in a way that actually shows me how such an organization works. I am so excited to have such a unique and incredible opportunity, so please let me know if you have any questions about it or want to know more!