After growing up in Nashua near Bangalow India Nash decided to study languages at the University of Cambridge and is now spending a year in Quito in Ecuador working on the the eradication of child labour.
‘I’m now in my third year studying languages and it was a course requirement to spend this year abroad somewhere, and so I ended up here in Quito,’ said India.
‘I’m working for a wonderful organisation know as CENIT or the Centro Integral de la Niñez y Adolescencia/The Integrated Centre for Childhood and Adolescence.’
Twenty-five per cent of the population in Ecuador live below the poverty line on less than $82 a month and child labour is widespread.
‘CENIT’s work is dedicated to eradicating child labour and giving working children a chance to escape the cycle of poverty that this perpetuates. Child labour is a widespread issue here in Ecuador, complex due to how ingrained it is in the culture,’ continued India.
With children starting work as young as four years old shelling peas or beans for market, shining shoes or selling lollies they have few opportunities to finish primary school.
‘They are also much more likely to be exposed to alcoholism, drug addiction and physical and/or sexual abuse,’ India pointed out.
‘CENIT tackles the issue by looking at it holistically and providing programs for children and adolescents as well as their families. The organisation offers educational programs and vocational training, as well as the services of a social worker, psychologist and health team.
‘We also offer daily lunch to every child in CENIT, which plays an indispensable role in ensuring parents see the value in keeping their child in education and not work – for many of these children this lunch is the only full meal their parents will be able to provide for them all day.’
Donate a lunch
Last week India helped CENIT launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for their lunch service to cover the cost of meals for the next four months.
‘Due to current national politics of supporting NGOs we now only receive funding to cover these meals for two thirds of the year.’
They are hoping to raise $20,000 and are asking for your help to reach their target. If you would like to find out more and donate click here.