Ecuador is a beautiful and diverse country in the northwestern part of South America along the Andes Mountains. It is a democratic republic and a developing country dependent on its commodities such as petroleum and agricultural products. Spanish is the official language and is spoken by the majority of the population, though 13 Amerindian languages are also spoken, including Quichua and Shuar.
Poverty, oppression and lack of education continue to be significant issues in this third world country. These factors place women, especially those who are single mothers, at risk for being pulled into the sex industry. Additionally, prostitution is legal in Ecuador at the age of 18, though the average age for entering prostitution is 15. Ecuador is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. The majority of trafficking victims are believed to be women and children trafficked within the country from border and central-highland areas to urban centers for commercial sexual exploitation, as well as for involuntary domestic servitude, forced begging, and forced labor in mines and other hazardous work.
End Slavery Ministries Ecuador (ESME) offers hope, freedom and future through relational ministry, intentionally and respectfully helping youth and families at risk experience the transforming power of life in Jesus Christ, impacting at all levels to decrease modern day slavery, poverty and oppression. Through the unique expression of ESME's ministries, we provide hope, purpose and freedom specifically to women and their children coming out of vulnerable situations like sex trafficking, prostitution; other abuse so they can experience emotional, physical and spiritual healing and discover their value and purpose as daughters of the King.
Our vision is to walk the journey of “long and deep” with each young woman. Healing and being equipped for future success takes time and hard work. The four ministries of ESME are Casa Adalia (residential home), EsperanzArt (jewelry workshop to provide professional and life skills development), Caminos de Libertad (non-residential program), and Amadas (outreach to people in prostitution).
As a social work team member, you would work with a multidisciplinary team and be part of at least two of the above programs. Social work provides an amazing foundation to working with these women, their families, and the community at large. You would serve as an advocate for these women. You would build healthy relationships with them. You would have the opportunity to bring new innovative ideas to the team. You would be a valued team member and play a key role on the team as you participate and bring your unique gifts and skills.
The programs are growing, and with the growth there is more need for educated, compassionate professionals who would be able to help sustain these programs and contribute to their effectiveness. The work is hard and it is not to be considered lightly, but it is an incredible opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the participants and in the functioning of the ministry.
● Willingness to learn Spanish; basic proficiency before arriving is a plus
● Bachelor's degree (BSW) or masters degree (MSW) in social work from an accredited college or university
● Teachable spirit and desire to learn about social work in the Ecuadorian cultural context.
● Protects the confidentiality of our participants
● Desires to make a difference in the life of young women through relational ministry
● Good team player who works well with people of different ages, backgrounds, and cultures and can effectively work in collaboration with others