Proyecto Horizonte and our community, Mineros San Juan, Ushpa-Ushpa continue growing and developing. With our school and daycare center being independent, we have been working on extending our outreach, within our community and beyond. For instance, we continue creating new programs developed as solutions to the most urgent needs and problems in our community in the areas of education, health and community development. We have also been partnering with other Bolivian NGOs to have an impact and provide assistance to other communities. In this report you will find more information about our newest programs and partnerships.
To address the fact that the cost of education is still out of reach for many in our community, Proyecto Horizonte now runs a scholarship program that covers tuition fees of the day-care center, schools, night school (enabling adults to graduate high school), universities and technical colleges. In some cases, the scholarship also covers material and transport. After a requirement specific evaluation and follow-up of an individual and the family of a child, youth or adult, the scholarships are then granted.
Proyecto Horizonte’s dentists have started working with the Foundation Smile Forever to perform fluoride and sealants application to the children of the Bolivian Fight Hunger foundation (“FH” - la Fundación Contra El Hambre) that live in the poorest neighborhoods of Cochabamba and suffer from food insecurity. Our efforts focus on preventive dental care to fight tooth decay and potential tooth loss that are quite commonly caused by malnourishment and poor dental hygiene.
Some of the new programs that we have introduced are a teenage and first-time mothers support group and reading promotion sessions for elementary school children. The support group aims to prepare the women for the responsibilities of parenthood and provide moral support. The objective of the reading promotion sessions is to get the children excited about reading and to fight reading difficulties experienced by many individuals in our community. We have also formalized our football school into a club in order to give more formal training to our coaches and children enhancing their skills and developing new innovative training techniques.
We have evolved greatly since we first started in 2004 thanks to our donors like you. As always, we would like to extend our sincerest thanks and appreciation to all of you for your passion and generosity! There is still lots of work to do! We would love to be able to count on your support in the future as well.
During the month of May we celebrated our 11th anniversary. We had some great events and the entire community came together to celebrate Proyecto Horizonte’s accomplishments and continuing work. In addition to games, food, and entertainment, tents were set up to allow the community to engage with the people of Proyecto Horizonte. The women of Tantakuna, a Proyecto Horizonte supported micro-enterprise, were present and selling their products at the anniversary as well as showcasing their progress in their business and leadership skills.
Since its inception in 2004, our daycare’s capacity has grown to caring for over 75 children. We are proud to have started the process of transitioning the management and the administration to the local authorities and parents. However, we maintain a close relationship with the daycare center and continue our financial support in order to ensure the quality of operations. Our daycare center has been named among the best in the whole region and it is our desire to keep that reputation while handing over the administration. Proyecto Horizonte is therefore still committed to supporting the daycare center’s economic sustainability. As a result, we are still reliant on the help of our generous donors to be able to continue our work.
Our Health Center has been working diligently conducting public health initiatives on topics including sexually transmitted diseases, nutrition for infants, and tuberculosis. The workshops are prepared by our dedicated staff, rehearsed, and delivered to the community. Lack of infrastructure and education perpetuate the health problems within the community. Hosting such workshops and raising awareness are steps toward putting a stop to some of the most pressing issues for the people. In addition to the numerous public health initiatives, our health center continues to see more than 100 patients a day, free of charge. With our donors’ support, we are able to provide basic and essential care that otherwise, wouldn’t be accessible to the people of Ushpa-Ushpa.
Our work in the area of Community Development has been widening and evolving as well. The past few months, the social workers and psychologists have been increasing their involvement with the neighbouring schools. Providing crucial interventions, and one-on-one tutoring, they are able to facilitate more productive and secure educational and living environments. By providing professional support in the schools, students are better equipped to overcome learning difficulties and obtain quality educations that are necessary for a more successful future.
The women of Tantakuna continue increasing their sales and developing better business skills. Through more participation in selling products at local fairs recently, Tantakuna women have been learning more about how to better market and sell their artisanal products. With the support of Proyecto Horizonte, the women are able to establish contact with international vendors and share their story with those abroad.
It is end of summer here in the Southern Hemisphere which means that summer break has ended and Proyecto Horizonte’s programs and activities are restarting. We are beginning our eleventh year of operations full of excitement as we have new programs in the pipeline allowing us to build on our recent achievements in the three areas of our focus, education, health and community development.
Our daycare center is now in very high demand as our efforts have earned it a reputation of a high quality institution that provides a safe and fun learning environment to our children. For example, our daily routine consists of feeding the children four nutritious meals; teaching hygiene practices including brushing their teeth, and stimulating their minds with games and activities. We have just opened our doors to over 75 children this year! We continue to think about ways to increase our outreach and will hopefully have more to report about this in the future
In 2014 over a 100 patients a day received medical attention of the professionals of our health center. Our dentists not only treated about 20 patients daily, but were also able to offer regular workshops at local schools to teach dental hygiene to our children. This year we plan to further focus our efforts on preventive healthcare to educate our community and gradually eradicate serious illnesses commonly present in our community such as tuberculosis, rabies and HIV.
Our teams of psychologists, social workers and personal development and skills training work hard to ensure that our youth stays on the right track and does not fall behind in their development. For instance, interventions were provided to approximately 400 students attending the schools within our community in order to help them overcome various difficult situations. One of our new initiatives for this year is launching an online information and consultation platform designed to provide responses to anonymous personal development questions.
Our youth club has also increased its popularity as over a 100 boys and girls participated in various youth programs we offer last year. One of them is Manuel. He comes to our youth club every day, “I like using one of the computers here to research what I need for school. I also participate in youth groups. We get together with my peers to chat…and reflect on values that are important to us”. With this in mind, we are now engaging our teens in the planning of our youth center expansion!
And there is so much more in the pipeline… We are definitely looking forward to the year ahead!
The year 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of our operations. We have organized events and activities through the full year, however the main events happened in the week of May 5-12 2014.
On the evening of May 10th 2014 we organized a big dance competition, open for all students of our programs. Dancing , classic, traditional, modern is an activity which is highly popular amon the kids of all ages. Several little dance companies formed among the students. Some of them built their own facebook pages and even participate in regional competitions.
We are particularly happy that two of our high school graduates return to Proyecto Horizonte on weekends as volunteers to teach the students in dance classes.
On May 10th we had organized the main event and over 2000 people from the community celebrated with the team of Proyecto Horizonte the work of the past 10 years. On that event we also presented our version of the Pharell Williams Happy Video which we also submited to the global Happy Video page. Other activities of the week included sports competitions, expos and an afternoon party for all the staff members.
This year also marks an important milestone as we are preparing the communtity for the idea to take over more responsibility for the work of Proyecto Horizonte, eventually giving the management of parts of the work in thier hands. We will do this in steps looking for those areas that are easiest to handle and lay out clear steps. Those steps include for example a higher responsibility in the partent-teacher-conference. This is a long process and it will require a lot of convincing, but we know that part of our success is teh sustainability of our work within the next 10 years.
End of November and early December are the most exciting weeks at Proyecto Horizonte. As we are located in the southern hemisphere, our school year ends early December. This means, we have graduation events, year end fairs and Christmas parties.
Every year we celebrate the graduation of our kids in the daycare-center who move on to the school. The highschool students have their own big celebration and the adults finishing the evening school organze a separate event. We have attached some pictures!
We like to present one student in this report who made us particularly proud. His name is Daniel: He was very emotional and thankful to Proyecto Horizonte for helping him overcome his drinking problem and therefore being able to finish high-schoo...l. Without this help he would be “in a very difficult place right now.” He continued with saying that he wishes to give something back and help Proyecto Horizonte reach people who are in the same hopeless situation he was in. He has already motivated two of his neighbours to start coming to classes. His story shows the importance of second chances and how life-changing Proyecto Horizonte’s night school can be.
As the officeial programs go into summer break, our team organizes the holiday program. Every years Christmas breakfast organized by the commited team of our doctors and nurses took place on December 22nd. More than 450 children were paciently waiting in the line for some hot chocolate, cake and entertainment. The team knew how to make them have a great morning with games and a little show.
Our programs will restart in January and we cant wait to get together again and start working!
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