Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia

by Help Bolivia Foundation
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Feed and educate children in El Alto, Bolivia
Children back at the Centre
Children back at the Centre

As the pandemic continues to impact the children and their families in El Alto, they are grateful for the supports you are able to provide for them to keep nourished, attend their online classes, and access education and psychological support. Thank you for being there for them!

In July we purchased 13 additional tablets for the children to use for their online classes, thanks to a grant from the World Education Research Institute (WERI). The children come to the centre for their online classes, and now also for the nutrition program (lunch and snacks). They continue to follow health protocols, and are happy to be together again.

Also in July, desperately needed repairs were done to the roof, sealing the cracks that saw water come into the building each time it rained. Slowly we are making improvements to the Centre – together we are making a difference!

More good news – the Sewing Training program is at last being set up! Machines and supplies were purchased last month, with the expectation that the program will start late this summer. We look forward to cutting the ribbon on “Carol’s Classroom” the next time we are in Bolivia. The mothers are excited to learn new skills, and we are grateful to be able to provide this opportunity. We could not do this without you! Speaking of which…

Without you…

Thank you for being there for the families and children during the global pandemic. The families of the Tahuantinsuyo Community Centre faced tough challenges: 

With the global pandemic, many parents who earned their income selling homemade food and products lost customers and business. But because of you, these families did not go hungry. 

With education going online in Bolivia, many underprivileged families could not access online school because they didn’t have access to smartphones, tablets or computers. But because of you, these families received tablets so their children could continue to learn. 

Help Bolivia Education staff were able to visit with the families, ensuring that the children were on track with their schooling and providing assistance and tutoring when needed. The children were able to continue their education because you care!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for caring about these kids! For more information, or to learn about the fundraisers we have this Summer and Fall, please check out our website. Muchas Gracias!

Using tablets to access online classes
Using tablets to access online classes
Children eating lunch, socially distanced
Children eating lunch, socially distanced
Much needed roof repairs begin
Much needed roof repairs begin
The Sewing Program is being set up
The Sewing Program is being set up
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Rosalia cooking food for the families
Rosalia cooking food for the families

Happy Spring! May Update:

In late February wifi was finally installed at the Tahuantinsuyo community centre, after a delay of two months due to the high demand in Bolivia. School is all online for urban students for 2021, and everyone was left scrambling for wifi and devices to access education. The children began coming in to the centre for classes in March, using the tablets we had purchased in 2020. Rosalia, our cook, began to cook meals for the families to come pick up and take home.

In April we began building the computer lab, with the purchase of 4 used desktops. The desktops allow the children to research, write, and print reports and assignments. We also purchased a copier/printer so that our educators can make photocopies of the printed curriculum being sold by the schools. Many of our families could not afford to buy all the sets needed for their children, so the solution was to make the copies ourselves.

Given the need in the community, we expanded our programs in February and added 6 children from 4 families that were on the waiting list. We now support 64 children from 38 families, and we hope to help even more as our donor base grows. The economic crisis caused by the pandemic has no end in sight, and Bolivia is now starting their third wave. They need our help more than ever.

In March the children received oral hygiene supplies from U.S. based The World Smiles Mission. They had contacted us over the holidays wanting to help our kids, and we couldn’t have been more thrilled. Each family member received a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, and the children received colouring books and crayons. The colouring books, which contain information about the importance of oral hygiene, were a big hit!

Also in March the first of our graduated students began university, thanks to a sponsorship through Helping Hands – La Paz. We partnered with Helping Hands last March, when we met with the founder in La Paz. This is a huge step forward for our programs, as now all the children know that post secondary education is a very real possibility for each of them. Education is the way out of the cycle of poverty, and we couldn’t be more pleased with this big step forward.

As always, we are grateful and humbled by the supporters of our work, and we cannot thank you enough. We are making real, positive change in the lives of these children and their families, and we could not do this without you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Families come in for food
Families come in for food
Children attend online classes using tablets
Children attend online classes using tablets
Children use the new computers
Children use the new computers
Oral hygiene materials for the kids
Oral hygiene materials for the kids
Meeting Helping Hands March 2020
Meeting Helping Hands March 2020

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Monthly Food Distribution
Monthly Food Distribution

Happy New Year!  January Update:

As you may know, due to the pandemic, our programs have had to pivot. Our Lunch program for the children became a monthly food distribution, which has become critical for the families, most of whom have been out of work since March. Our education and psychological support programs have pivoted online where possible, and to visits by our educators and psychologist to those families without online access. Everyone is waiting for the pandemic to end, so that our programs can resume at the Centre. However, the situation continues to be dire in Bolivia, with the second wave expected in February/March, when the new school year begins.

The Bolivian government has decided that the 2021 school year will be a hybrid of online learning and part time in class learning. Typically our programs begin in March to align, but this year we will continue the monthly food distribution in January and February, as the food support is too critical for the children’s health to stop over their summer holidays. Thank you for helping us make this possible.

  In October the children were able to get together for an outing, where they saw their friends for the first time in many months. Their day of adventure was a highlight of 2020!

 On December 13th a year end Christmas party was held at the Centre (outdoors for safety), where gifts were given to the children, and a great time was had by all. Thank you to those of you who contributed for the gift fund!

 There are 34 families registered in our programs. 20 tablets have been purchased and distributed to 20 families so far, so that the children can access school and school assignments, download educational videos, research tasks, and the mothers use it for meetings with the team from the Community Centre. Training sessions were held at the Centre for parents to learn how to use the tablets. To assist our educators, internet is being installed at the Tahuantinsuyo Community Centre. The families continue to access internet with prepaid data cards. We continue to fundraise for the remaining 14, and as of this writing, have raised enough for 9 more! We hope to purchase the rest of the 14 tablets prior to the beginning of school in March. Thank you to everyone who helped get the kids online!

We are grateful for, and humbled by, our donors who have allowed this support for the children and their families be possible. Together we are making a difference in their lives, and for that we thank you so very, very much. Stay safe, stay healthy!

Adventure
Adventure
Learning to use a tablet
Learning to use a tablet
Year End Xmas party
Year End Xmas party
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We are now six months into the pandemic, and Bolivia’s COVID-19 cases are finally starting to flatten out. This country has been hit especially hard by the virus, dwindling its scarce resources even further, and setting the country back years in terms of development and GDP. We are grateful that we have a terrific team on the ground, and are well positioned to help the children and their families deal with the aftermath. They need us more than ever.

With the families still in lockdown, the schools and our community centre will remain closed for the rest of 2020. Our Hot Lunch program pivoted to become a monthly food take away, and this month we were able to secure fresh fruit and vegetables in addition to the dry goods. With the loss of income, most of the families would not have the means to purchase food, so our support is crucial.

Our education and psychological support programs have pivoted, and have become a combination of online programming, and in person visits by our dedicated team. Access to psychological support is also crucial at this time, as the children are suffering from stress due to the pandemic and their family’s poor economic situation. As only half the families had access to a smart phone when our programs closed, we began fundraising to purchase tablets to ensure that all children have access to online programming. The first batch were delivered in July, and the second batch will be delivered in the next few weeks. We still have more families that require tablets, but as our micro project on GlobalGiving has come to its 90 day end, we will continue to fundraise elsewhere.  Follow our website for more info, and to see the progress of the tablets for Bolivia.

We are grateful for, and humbled by, our donors who have allowed this support for the children and their families be possible. As we see the suffering going on in many parts of the world due to the pandemic, we can take comfort in knowing in the Tahuantinsuyo community of El Alto, Bolivia, we are making a difference.

Thank you.  Muchas gracias. 

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Splashing in Lake Titicaca
Splashing in Lake Titicaca

Greetings Help Bolivia supporters,

Three months ago we sent our first GlobalGiving report from Bolivia, where a group of us were visiting the children and the project in El Alto.  We spent seven days in all with the children, including two days taking them on an overnight trip with their families to Copacabana on beautiful Lake Titicaca.  This was an experience the children will never forget, for they do not often get out of the city.  We also spent a day shopping for books in La Paz, and delighted in the joy the children expressed when we delivered them to the community centre.  The books will provide hundreds of hours of reading for the children, and help them increase their literacy skills.  

The day we arrived back in Canada, March 12th, the world turned upside down.  Schools were closed in Bolivia, and remain closed today.  The lock down continues in Bolivia, as they try to flatten the curve of this pandemic.  Our programs have had to 'pivot', and are now being delivered in creative ways.  Our Lunch Program has turned into food being distributed from the centre once a week, which is providing nutrition not only for the children, but now for their parents as well. This is important because most, if not all of the parents are Daily Wagers, and are not able to bring in money while they remain in lock down.  Our educators and psychologist have taken their support online, and are communicating with the families via WhatsApp or text messaging.  Some of the creative videos they have made for the children are posted on our Facebook page.  

Like all other charities, we have had to cancel our fundraising events and try to bring campaigns online.  We've had one online silent auction so far, with some of the gorgeous handicrafts we brought from Bolivia.  We plan to hold another online auction later this year.  Information about these campaigns can be found on our website.  In the meantime we are grateful for all the support shown by donors such as yourself.  We could not do what we do without your generosity, and we thank you.

Stay safe,

Lydia

Copacabana
Copacabana
New books
New books
Picking up food from the community centre
Picking up food from the community centre
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Organization Information

Help Bolivia Foundation

Location: Airdrie, AB - Canada
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @help_bolivia
Project Leader:
Lydia Hill
Airdrie, AB Canada
$16,395 raised of $50,000 goal
 
317 donations
$33,605 to go
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