For His Children Internship Program Overview

dance_lessonInterns help our professional caregivers (called tías) provide care and attention to the children. This means playing with the children both in groups and one-on-one, helping during mealtimes, and pitching in with chores and activities around the Home. You might be asked to accompany the children and tías on an outing to a local park, do some grocery shopping or help supervise during swimming time in the therapy pool. You might help create a Memory Album for a child who is leaving the Home with an adoptive family or to take pictures and video for our website, newsletter or reports to our child sponsors. Interns with special skills may be assigned to aid our child psychologist, physical therapist or special education teacher. Our Ministries Coordinator, Jen, will review your application and make sure you have a fulfilling experience during your time here.

Where are the Homes located?

For His Children operates two Homes in Ecuador, one in Quito and one in Latacunga. Each Home cares for 20-25 children at a time.

Our Home in Quito, the capital, cares for children ages newborn to eight. Most children have either normal needs or mild to moderate special needs. Volunteers in Quito are housed either in FHC’s guesthouse on-site or housed in a homestay (with an American/Ecuadorian couple) only a block away from the Home.

Latacunga is a city approximately three hours south of Quito. The Home serves both children and young adults up to age twenty. Approximately half the residents have moderate to severe special needs. Interns are housed either on-site in the guest wing of the Home or with a local homestay family.

Who are the Children?

Referrals of children who need special care come from juvenile courts, hospitals, clinics and other children’s programs. A child may be referred to our programs for many reasons, including economic hardship, family difficulties including domestic violence or substance abuse or an unsupported pregnancy. We are committed to preserving the birth family relationship if possible, and advocating for the child’s best interests at all times.

You can see some of the children at the Home by viewing the intro cards of the children in our sponsorship program on our website.

Do I need to speak Spanish?

No, but it’s useful to know at least a little. While some of our staff members in Quito speak English, none of the caregivers do. The staff in Latacunga speaks only Spanish. However, everyone is accustomed to working with international volunteers and will appreciate your efforts! We are happy to arrange Spanish lessons during your time here if you are interested. If you are able, we recommend taking at least one Spanish class or using Rosetta Stone or a similar program (many libraries have these available to check out!) before you arrive. You’ll feel a lot more confident if you start with at least a few basic phrases!

How old do you have to be to intern?

There is a minimum age of 18 to intern for most programs. However, we often find that interns who have experience living independently have a much easier time transitioning and are able to have a more rewarding experience. For that reason, except in cases of a young person who already has experience living independently (such as in a college program) or experience volunteering abroad, we generally recommend that interns be at least 20 before they apply. We welcome applications from interns who are mid-career or retirees!

Do I have to start on the program’s start date?

Yes, all interns must be present in Quito for the orientation weekend. While we understand you might be delayed for reasons beyond your control (we won’t hold it against you if a blizzard in Chicago keeps you from flying out!), we believe that the orientation weekend provides necessary information and gives interns a chance to bond and make connections.

Can I intern for a shorter period than the 4 week program?

To maintain a high-quality intern experience and to minimize disruption for our kids, we only accept interns for 4 weeks or longer. We are considering possibly offering a shorter (1-2 week) program to coincide with school breaks. These programs will be posted on our website – please keep checking to see.

I’m interested in starting on the start-date of a 4 week program, but I would like to stay longer than 4 weeks. Is this possible?

Yes! We welcome interns to stay for a longer period than the formal intern program. Please let us know how long you would like to stay and we will modify the price for you to include your housing, etc for the duration of your stay. A trip of longer than 90 days in Ecuador will require a special visa – for this reason, we strongly encourage interns to plan on staying for no more than 12 weeks. If you choose to stay for longer, FHC cannot help you in procuring a visa.
Please visit our website, www.forhischildren-ecuador.org to see pictures, read past issues of our newsletter and find out more about how we help abandoned and vulnerable children in Ecuador. If you have any questions, please email our International Ministries Coordinator, Jennifer Schneider at Jennifer@forhischildren-ecuador.org.