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Jul 16, 2020

Dramatic effects of the pandemic in Bolivia

face mask production in bolivia
face mask production in bolivia

We are pleased to share our current work with you in this report and would like to thank you in advance for your support of any kind!

While in Europe, after months of quarantine, we can get back on the streets, go on vacation and make use of our regained freedom, the COVID-19 impact on Bolivia is substantial. Many Bolivians are still in lockdown and the number of cases is rising exponentially, as in other parts of South America. Even after four months, the situation is still fragile - because now the fatal effects of the pandemic are becoming apparent.

With about 52.000 registered cases and 1.942 confirmed deaths (as of 16.07.2020), the Bolivian health system is exceeding its capacity. Insufficient medical equipment and overworked medical staff lead to people being turned away from hospitals. In addition to this, corruption in the health system and the high number of undetected cases strengthen the current grievances. The district of Micani is covered by the health station in San Pedro de Buena Vista, where Doctora Mirtha is working. She reports a lack of intensive care beds, although the number of at-risk patients in the region is very high. Their lungs are pre-stressed by the smoke pollution in their huts. Above that, they are often malnourished, which is only exacerbated by the lack of logistics for the school children's meals. Usually, these children received food at their school. Many of their parent don´t have any possibility to buy food during the quarantine, if they do not earn any money.

During this dramatic worsening of the situation, we see our task as a local and networked aid organization to provide emergency aid quickly and efficiently.

So far, we have set up hand washing facilities at central locations, each with six washbasins and a 600-liter water tank. In the city of San Pedro de Buena Vista, we installed further smaller washing facilities, mainly next to shops. In addition, we train the staff of the town hall and the health stations in cooperation with the local doctors in dealing with COVID-19, in constant cooperation with the Fundación SODIS.

However, the two most serious problems for the people in Micani are the lack of income and poor nutrition.

Therefore, we are building up a mask production in Micani together with Fundación SODIS. In this context, we will provide sewing machines and fabrics. This will create jobs for the women from the villages, who can use their earnings to supplement the family income. In the future, the mask production can be converted into a clothing production and can therefore be seen not only as a temporary but also a long-term solution for the families in need.

Over the long term, malnutrition can become dangerous, especially for children. Guinea pigs and poultry will serve as sources of protein in the future. We will build up the appropriate breeding to ensure nutrition for the vulnerable groups.

Our local employees are also helping us to find further solutions to regional problems as best they can, even though their work has been severely restricted by the lockdown.

Due to constantly changing conditions, we are continuously facing new tasks and are trying to develop adequate solution concepts. We look forward to your continued support in the future and would like to thank you for your current support.

wash station with soap
wash station with soap
wash station
wash station

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Jul 1, 2020

Overcoming corona crisis and resuming our project activities

Tara plant
Tara plant

In the first half of March, the next training sessions were held in the six Escuelas de Campo (ECA) that had been set up.

However, due to the outbreak of Corona and the measures subsequently imposed by the Bolivian government, work was severely restricted in the second half of March and in April. The planned training courses were not carried out due to the ban on assembly.

Our work was then fully focused on the dissemination of knowledge about hygiene to counteract the possible spread of the virus in the region.

Due to the relaxation of the measures by the Bolivian government, activities for the project could be resumed from May onwards.

The implementation of training courses in the six ECAs was continued. ECAs were also set up in eight other municipalities, bringing the total number to fourteen ECAs. In May and June, a needs assessment was also carried out to extend the Tara programme to more families and communities and to increase the tree population of families already participating.

A new car was also purchased at the end of June, which will significantly increase the mobility of the technicians in their work in the field.

In Germany, work began in mid-June on the creation of the logical framework for the project. Based on this, the next step is to revise the monitoring of the project.

Aracani, a village in the project region
Aracani, a village in the project region
The new car
The new car

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Mar 9, 2020

1000 trees for a start

planting Tara seedlings
planting Tara seedlings

In December the pilot phase of the Qhari Warmi project started with 31 families from 3 villages. Originally 34 families wanted to take part, but 3 families dropped out before the start.

In the course of this, almost 1000 Tara seedlings were brought from Chuquisaca to Micani in early December. A community garden was set up in each of the three villages where the families planted the trees after a short acclimatization period supported by our agricultural expert Lilliana.

In addition, so-called Escuelas de Campo were established in the three villages. Translated this means "schools in the country". The idea behind this is that the training courses no longer take place centrally in one place in the region, but decentrally in the individual villages, so that the women can also participate. The participants are trained there on the topic of equality and in the cultivation and handling of the Tara plant, but also on topics related to our other projects, such as health, hygiene and nutrition.

Currently there are concrete plans to extend the Escuelas de Campo to three more villages.

Furthermore, together with an expert from our partner organisation SOCODEVI, a teaching concept for the training in handling Tara is being developed.

A first monitoring of the Tara plant was carried out in February as well. The main aim of this was to check whether the plants are able to cope with the conditions in Micani, which is fortunately the case. In the next step, we will now develop our own monitoring concept so that we can also include the other aspects of the project - gender equality and income generation.

                                

Tara in Chuquisaca
Tara in Chuquisaca
planting Tara seedlings
planting Tara seedlings

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