Building Brighter Futures with Health, Education and Lunch Programs (HELP)
Schools in Bolivia and our community centre closed on March 12th due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our programs have had to ‘pivot’, and are now being delivered in creative ways. Instead of a sit down lunch program at the centre, families come once a month to pick up food that our team on the ground purchases and distributes with government authorization. This food is critical for the families, most of whom are Daily Wagers; since the lockdown, they have been unable to work or bring in any income.
Our education and psychological support programs have been pushed online, with our educators and psychologist working hard to keep the children as supported and engaged as possible. Hazmat suits have been purchased for the staff to wear when they visit the students that have learning difficulties and no smartphones. The psychologist has been working with the parents through WhatsApp to address cases of abuse and family violence, which have increased in the community during this lockdown.
In July the first batch of tablets were purchased and distributed to 5 families who had no prior online access, benefiting 19 children. Parents and children were trained how to use the educational apps, and they are extremely grateful to once again be connected and engaged. See our Tablet Fundraiser below to keep updated on this initiative.
Check out this great video!
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.
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!