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El programa de Fortalecimiento de OSC es un esfuerzo que se inició en noviembre de 2014, con el propósito de fortalecer la capacidad técnica y financiera de organizaciones de la sociedad civil. Fundación Esquel se integra a este programa, que se ejecuta en asocio con Counterpart International, una organización no gubernamental con sede en Estados Unidos.
Trabajamos actualmente con 12 organizaciones de la sociedad civil en Quito y Guayaquil, en actividades como acompañamiento en la generación de planes de desarrollo organizacional, de sostenibilidad y capacidades de incidencia; generación de un proceso de capacitación, intercambio de aprendizajes y difusión de experiencias y lecciones aprendidas, herramientas, metodologías y otros instrumentos de apoyo al trabajo de OSC.
Fundación Esquel inició las actividades del Proyecto “Banco del Tiempo, herramientas para la participación ciudadana”, una iniciativa financiada por el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Democracia, UNDEF. El proyecto busca promover la participación ciudadana a través del intercambio de habilidades y conocimientos, y desarrollar un espacio de colaboración entre los ciudadanos del Distrito Metropolitano de Quito. En el Banco del Tiempo la sociedad civil podrá articular e integrar demandas y servicios en diferentes áreas, que serán intercambiadas en su tiempo libre.
Esta herramienta también permitirá identificar diferentes necesidades de la población, y formular estrategias para mejorar la calidad de vida, especialmente de grupos prioritarios (mujeres, jóvenes, y miembros de la comunidad que viven excluidos).
Fundación Esquel inició las actividades del Proyecto “Banco del Tiempo, herramientas para la participación ciudadana”, una iniciativa financiada por el Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Democracia, UNDEF. El período de ejecución es de dos años, desde marzo del 2016 hasta marzo del 2018.
Esta iniciativa busca promover la participación ciudadana a través del intercambio de habilidades y conocimientos en el Distrito Metropolitano de Quito, y desarrollar un espacio de colaboración entre los ciudadanos. En el Banco del Tiempo la sociedad civil podrá articular e integrar demandas y servicios en diferentes áreas, que serán intercambiadas en su tiempo libre.
Esta herramienta también permitirá identificar diferentes necesidades de la población, y formular estrategias para mejorar la calidad de vida, especialmente de grupos prioritarios (mujeres, jóvenes, y miembros de la comunidad que viven excluidos). Una de las mestas será formular mecanismos de intercambio, participación y organización comunitaria.
La ciudad de Quito ha mostrado una debilidad en la participación ciudadana y en su relación con las instituciones políticas locales. El Banco del Tiempo también será una herramienta para fomentar la cohesión social y la solidaridad.
The Citizen’s Agenda is a collective action initiative of several civil society groups and organizations, among them Esquel Foundation, aiming to collectively work on the prioritization and drafting of a group of public policy proposals tackling Ecuador’s current core issues from a diverse, plural, and unbiased approach.
The purpose of this Agenda is to identify the main challenges and, on their account, work on policy proposals to be presented in broad-base forums and later on to 2017 presidential candidates.
To create a pluralistic forum of discussion on the main challenges Ecuador is facing in the next decennium; and to gather ideas, comments, critics, proposals reflecting citizen’s diversity and plurality.
To strategically guide and structure the discussion for the forum to set out a clear position reflecting the Ecuador we all want to live in, framed on a well-organized, aligned and pertinent dialogue.
To promote citizens endorsement and ownership of the Agenda to be advocated to the next electoral process candidates for its consideration in the next administration’s government plan. Hence, it becomes the main instrument of civil oversight and public demand.
The Quito Permanent Forum (QPF) is a transparent, pluralistic and political independent space where the residents of the district of Quito discuss the problems of the city in order to present solutions and actions for providing welfare and equity to the residents. This citizen initiative was created in 2014 and it is integrated by 36 organizations from the civil society.
Esquel Foundation is one of the mentor organizations of the QPF. Esquel is deeply committed to strengthen the democratic processes in the country and, moreover, to support the multidimensional work that guarantees the duly human rights fulfillment in the district of Quito. The QPF will reinforce as well the relationship with other civil society and grassroots organizations. In this regard, the civil society will be responsible of preparing and presenting proposals with impact in the public policies that improve the rights status of the residents of Quito.
The QPF holds every month a General Assembly with all the members and regularly thematic commissions are stablished for discussing priorities and specific actions towards important topics in the district of Quito.
The QPF was created for allowing the residents of Quito to exercise their citizen participation already established in the Ecuadorian Constitution. Moreover, the Forum gives a space for public policies compliance, and above all it offers a space for building collectively a city that promotes better life conditions.
One of Esquel’s main commitments has been the contribution to the strengthening of the country’s youth participation and involvement. Building on this pursuit, Esquel is supporting the creation of the National Youth Network, looking to get young people from different provinces involved in a sustained participatory capacity building and strengthening process.
For the creation of the network, Esquel has already approached several youth organizations’ representatives. As a result of this effort, Esquel’s youth team participated in the Zone 7 Youth Gathering bringing together representatives of youth organizations from the Ecuadorian southern provinces of Zamora, El Oro, and Loja in the city of Loja. During this event, Esquel facilitated the discussion on citizen participation, human rights, and democracy.
Furthermore, the Network attempts to offer a sustained discussion platform for the youth to share concerns and jointly formulate new projects and initiatives.
This initiative is an open-dialogue space for the youth employment problematic in Ecuador facilitated by Esquel and venturing to bring together diverse actors to get better informed about the topic, engage in discussions, and propose solutions.
This initiative started as a result of one of the main commitments reached in the International Gathering: The Youth, socio-economic development, and employment in Ecuador, taking place in Cuenca in November 2015 with the support of Azuay’s Local Government. The board tackles one of the youth’s main concerns identified in the Gathering, which is the need for a stronger participation of the youth in social and economic processes.
The Board consists of representatives of Ecuadorian companies, local governments, universities, youth organizations, and international cooperation entities jointly committed to foster this initiative and make it a corner stone of youth employment in Ecuador.
Thus far, the first meetings for the definition of the Board’s structure and work plan have already taken place. Additionally, some efforts towards the establishment of alliances with other organizations have been made.
This is a new collaborative initiative between Esquel and the oil company Repsol aiming at providing support to the technical evaluation process of four projects that have been executed by Reposl in three provinces of the Ecuadorian Amazon region: Napo, Orellana, and Sucumbíos.
In this process, Esquel plans to design and apply a tailored Monitoring and Evaluation System that measures and analyzes the projects’ outcomes performance and, hence, the achievement of their objectives through the use of technical and financial impact indicators.
This project’s execution started on 2013 for a four-year period in conjunction with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and with the financial support of the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL).
The project aims at providing comprehensive and long-term support to the policy-making process on the eradication of child labor at national and inter-sectorial levels.
This initiative indirectly benefits all Ecuadorian children affected by child labor abuse and directly benefits those from Quinindé and Guamote counties.
During these three years of implementation, Esquel has facilitated a series of activities in this pursuit, involving central government institutions such as: Labor, Education, Economic and Social Inclusion Ministries, the Ministry Coordinator of Social Development, and the Ecuadorian Service for Professional Training (SECAP in Spanish acronym); as well as the local governments and Parish Councils of Quinindé and Guamote. Several capacity building and strengthening processes have been implemented in the intervention territories targeting key public officials. Additionally, important alliances have been established with organizations such as: EducaFuturo, Comunidec and Fundación Manos Solidarias among others, through which the project’s level of response to the problematic has been enhanced.
Intervention zones: In Ecuador, the project targets the provinces of Esmeraldas (Quinindé Country) and Chimborazo (Guamote country), these being the territories where high levels of child labor are registered.
The project’s main accomplishment so far has been the updating of the Child Labor’s Most Dangerous Activities List in support of the Child Labor Eradication Project (PETI in Spanish acronym) lead by the Labor Ministry. This List was approved by the Ministerial Agreement No 031 and published in the Official Registry.
Furthermore, the project has contributed to the elaboration of a Training Guide to prepare PETI and Rights Protection County Councils’ technical staff in the application of the List at national level.
This project has been financed and supported by the Junta de Castilla y León and the Spanish NGO Cooperación Internacional; and has an execution period ending in October 2016.
The project’s zone of intervention is Cotacachi, a county located in the northern Ecuadorian province of Imbabura, and it seeks to directly benefit 1,603 citizens among them indigenous children, authorities, teachers, and parents, as well as 34 Intercultural Bilingual Schools (EIB in Spanish acronym), public institutions, and communitarian networks.
Its work plan proposes three main components: schools’ premises and facilities adaptation; schools’ strengthening at institutional and academic levels, the latter considering the provision of specialized training for teachers in teaching methodologies aiming at improving the quality of education offered in the classrooms; and an awareness-raising process on children’s education rights targeting the educative community integrated by teachers, parents, and students.
This initiative is aligned to the Educative Policy’s purpose of fostering Intercultural Bilingual Schools, as well as the Cotacachi’s Educative Coordination action lines in pursuit of the same goal. Thus, for the implementation of its components, the participation of all Cotacachi’s educative community is required.