At the age of eight, Carolina started begging on the streets of her neighbourhood in order to escape a hostile family environment. After a while, she was spending so much time on the streets that she almost ended up living there.
Workers from JUCONI Ecuador established their first contact with Carolina when she was ten years old. They rescued her from a group of child traffickers by getting her a place in a children’s home where she had regular sessions with a children’s counsellor employed by JUCONI. At the same time the team also worked towards putting Carolina in touch with her family again, in an attempt to restore the bond between them. After two years of intervention and support through JUCONI, Carolina finally returned to live with her family.
Carolina is currently attending a high school for children with special educational needs. She is a friendly, sociable girl who enjoys studying and is positive about what she has achieved, despite everything that has occurred in the past – “I am proud of myself as I am not the street child that I was before. I like the fact that I am studying.”
Carolina is also now part of a group of youth leaders within her community and loves to participate in events which focus on helping other children to overcome traumatic situations such as child labour, substance abuse and violence.