Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in South America, with increasing migration of rural population, mostly illiterate and extremely poor, moving to urban centres such as El Alto. These migrant families are often divided as one or both parents are forced to leave their families to seek work elsewhere. The most vulnerable; women, children and adolescents remain. The city of El Alto, on the outskirts of La Paz has some of the highest rates of violence against women and children. A large number of these migrant families' children are faced with extreme poverty, poor educational support, malnutrition, insufficient health care and increased risk of sexual abuse and gang violence.
Help Bolivia Foundation is working in the Tahuantinsuyo Community Centre in El Alto on the outskirts of La Paz. The foundation alleviates poverty in Bolivia by providing Health, Education, and Lunch Programs to underprivileged children.
HELP Bolivia Mission Statement:
To relieve poverty in Bolivia by providing programs that deliver education, counselling and nutrition to underprivileged children as well as skills training to underprivileged women and youth.
Our vision is to drive change in communities by having children stay in school longer, with increased numbers going to post secondary school and being able to overcome limitations and challenges within their communities such as poverty, child abuse/sexual abuse, child abandonment and learning disabilities
Our volunteer Vaishali has spent countless hours designing merch in English, Spanish, French, and German. Check it out! More items will be added each quarter, so keep checking back!
This Spring the last of the walls were built up and then had broken glass embedded at the top to deter robbery. Thank you to our donors who sponsored the security improvements!
In May another batch of toothbrushes arrived from the World Smiles Mission, an American non profit started by high school students. Thank you, World Smiles, for caring about the kids!
The Tahuantinsutyo Community Centre is ageing and in need of repairs to keep the children safe and comfortable. Can you help out? Click on the link to learn more and make a donation. Muchas Gracias!
As we start off the New Year, we take some time to reflect on the changes that happened in 2021 for the children and their families at the Tahuantinsuyo Community Centre.
Over the summer break (January/February), we continued to provide food bundles for the families who were still feeling the impact of the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bolivian government announced that school would be online for urban students, so in February wifi was installed at the Centre, and in March the Centre opened up for the children to access online classes. Rosalia began cooking meals for the families to take home, which was much appreciated by all.
Also in March the families received gifts of toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss, and even crayons & colouring books from the U.S. based World Smiles Mission, with the colouring books being a big hit!
In April, thanks to our donors and a grant from the World Education Resource Institute, we began to at long last build the computer lab with the purchase of 4 used desk top computers and more tablets.
The children continued to come in for online classes only through May and June. In June the children went on a much needed walking adventure with the teachers and some parents. They were so pleased to get together again outdoors!
In July the hot lunch program resumed with the children eating at the Centre, although physically distanced.
In August the equipment for the sewing program was purchased, and in September two sewing classes began – one for parents, and one for the older students. Their first assignment was to make themselves PPE!
Also in September the Bolivian urban schools began a hybrid of in class instruction 2 to 3 days a week, coupled with online classes the rest of the time. The children continued to go to the Centre every day for lunch, and then either headed to school, or accessed their online classes.
In October we continued to build the computer lab thanks to a grant from The Fig Tree Foundation, which saw us add 6 desktop computers and a laptop. Digital literacy is more important than ever, and we are grateful to have been able to provide these tools to the Centre.
In November in the midst of a pandemic, we were able to resume all services for the children at the Centre which was very welcome by the children and families.
In December they wrapped up the school year with a Christmas Fiesta held inside the Centre, with music, dancing, food, and gifts! It was a good time held by all.
As always, we are deeply thankful for the support we receive for these children and their families. Together we are making a difference in their lives, and for that we are very grateful. Here’s hoping 2022 will bring more positive changes for these children and their families. Happy New Year!
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One day, an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked he came upon a young girl who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one.
Puzzled, the man looked at the girl and asked what she was doing. Without looking up from her task, the girl simply replied, “I’m saving these starfish, Sir”.
The old man chuckled aloud, “But, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?”
The girl picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water and turning to the man, said, “I made a difference to that one, Sir!”
The old man looked thoughtfully at the small girl. And then he, too, began throwing starfish back into the ocean...
Whether you help through monetary donations, volunteering your time, or spreading your support of our work by word of mouth, thank you! We could not accomplish our goals without supporters like you. Thank you for your HELP to “Build Brighter Futures” for Bolivia’s underprivileged children!
We would love to hear from you!