Refusing to settle

Guamaní community grateful for change volunteer mother brings

Quito, Ecuador – When a child joins Children International, the support of sponsorship spreads throughout the entire family. Mothers and fathers of sponsored children see each other at community centers or after-school programs and get to know one another. Over time, they build supportive communities, encouraging one another to become more involved by volunteering in our program – providing a critical support system to children and our organization as a whole.

That’s how Rocio, president of the Guamaní region Volunteer Council, got her start. A once-shy housewife with four children, she’s always taken great care of her home and family. Her motherly touch is apparent in her modest cinder block and corrugated-metal house, which boasts colorful flowers in the windowsills and stalks of corn growing in the garden. But it wasn’t until her daughter, Rafaela, was sponsored that Rocio realized she could use her nurturing instinct to do more.

After seeing the positive impact a volunteer mother had on the youth in their community, Rocio knew she wanted to get involved.

“I saw the motivation she gave to the children,” Rocio said. “I liked that and I wanted to collaborate.”

Six years later, Rocio now leads a 56-volunteer group in the Guamaní region and runs the Volunteer Council, a core leadership team that works to transform their community from the inside out. Rocio promotes Children International programs for local children and youth, including Tutoring and Sport for Development, which help them excel in school and develop the leadership and social skills needed to secure stable jobs. And she’s also led multiple community-improvement projects, including: partnering with an engineer to build community gardens where families can sell crops for extra income, working with the city council to expand summer camps, and spearheading a project with a local food bank to combat food scarcity.

Volunteers in action
  • Fifty-six volunteers support children in the Guamaní region of Quito, Ecuador.
  • About 320 volunteers serve Children International in Quito, Ecuador.
  • Currently, more than 9,000 volunteer mothers and fathers donate their time and energy to Children International worldwide. We are endlessly grateful for their help!

Known as someone who “knows how to get things done,” Rocio continues to build relationships throughout her community, working hand-in-hand with the local government to bring broader change. Mara Guamangallo, field officer for the Guamaní region of Quito, is thankful for Rocio’s hard work.

“She does not settle with only the support of Children International,” Mara says. “She keeps on going even when she faces challenges or when she doesn’t have help.”

Throughout the years and through many accomplishments, Rocio maintains her nurturing spirit and a sense of humility that serves her in all she does.

“I don’t have much, but I like being generous,” she says. “To be a volunteer is to give everything of me without expecting anything in return. That makes me feel complete.”

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