Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education

by Fundacion Helping Hands-La Paz (Bolivia)
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education
Help Bolivian Youth Access Higher Education

CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN ORDER!! 
We are so very proud of Carina, Cesar and Junior. With the support of Helping Hands, Carina graduated in Biochemistry at the prestigious state university here in La Paz. She has now won a scholarship in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to do her Doctoral studies. Cesar has now officially graduated as an Electromechanical Engineer at the same state university, the UMSA. And last Friday July 2, Yunior successfully defended his thesis with a grade of 95% in Petroleum Engineering, again at the UMSA. Well deserved!!

PAYING IT BACK
During the pandemic many of our elementary students have had difficulty keeping up with new material online and so several of our older students and a volunteer, Camila, have been supporting them with extra tutoring. Thank you LizethCesar and Camila for the extra support. Israel is completing his 3 months of internship in our office helping Fabiola and Janneth with their many duties. Thanks for the support, Israel.

So many new students this year!! We have accepted 35 new students. Maybe you would like to get onboard and take on a new student. Please visit the Sponsorship page of our website.
Sponsorships or one time donations to help provide for our supplementary food baskets and internet access for students are always so welcome on our GlobalGiving website. THANK YOU!!

 Visit the Altiplano!

Maria Salas, our Social Worker, and Fabiola, our Accountant, took a trip to the countryside to visit three of our younger students there, Daniel and Deivis, who are twins, and Lucy from the same village. Take a trip to the Bolivan countryside by watching this super video!!

 

GETTING BACK TO WORK:
The pandemic has made it so difficult for the students to find part time work to help with personal expenses. However, with a little determination Luzmila has found work taking care of elderly patients, Gilda has found a spot to perform her internship in the countryside, Sara is now working part time at a pastry shop and Oscar found agricultural work. Stay positive!

 LET’S ENCOURAGE ONE ANOTHER:

During the month of May our students all wrote notes for one another to lift our spirits during the third wave of the pandemic.
Maicol says, “Don’t forget to use your face mask because we are waiting for you at home.” 
Nataniela says, “Let’s maintain the hope that we will come out of this pandemic together.”

OUR WORKSHOPS:
In April we learned about “MANAGING OUR FINANCES” given by Vierca, our new Programme director.

In May we had two workshops “Prevention of Violence” given by Sra. Silvia and “How to be successful on entering the labour market,” presented by Lic. Walter. Both workshops held the attention of the students and they had many questions about finding a job.

 In June we continued the workshop on “The Prevention of Violence” which was well presented by the Sra. Silvia.

 

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NEWS

This year we welcomed 110 students, 30 of them are new. We wish them all a very successful upcoming year! Check out our 2021 students

ADMINISTRATIVE CHANGES

Our Program Director Pamela left Helping Hands in mid-February for family reasons. We are very grateful to her for all the work she did which has contributed to our organization having legal and administrative requirements that will allow Helping Hands to expand.

THANK YOU PAMELA!

WE WISH YOU ALL THE BEST IN YOUR NEW ADVENTURE

And now we welcome our new Program Director Vierca Mejía who is very enthusiastic to continue the work that Pamela started. We will strive to overcome the new challenges and achieve new goals for the benefit of all of our students.

OUR STUDENTS

There is no greater joy than seeing the positive results of our work, the sponsors’ commitments and our students’ efforts.

GILDA

Gilda is a student of Dentistry at the Public University UMSA.  She completed her rural internship in Dentistry in the town of Hilata from February until the end of March. Now she will begin her urban internship for 3 months to finish her studies and begin the process of graduation. Congratulations Gilda, you are just a step away from your degree and being able to contribute your skills to society.

REYNA VANESSA

Reyna Vanessa is studying Public Accounting at the UNICEN and will complete her coursework in June of this year. She will then begin the graduation process which will take another six months. Before joining Helping Hands, Vanessa enrolled in sewing classes hoping to be able to cover some of her living expenses and save money for her graduation by taking in sewing. She turned out to be quite the entrepreneur and now has a small business of her own.  

Go for it, Vanessa, we need enterprising people who can create jobs. We are sure you will do very well.

It is the beginning of the school year again and Helping Hands has many new students who need sponsors. If you would like to sponsors a student or just help out with a one-time donation, please visit OUR SPONSORSHIP PAGE or visit us at this link   https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/education-for-at-risk-bolivian-girls/   or    https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/help-bolivian-youth-access-higher-education/ 

This new year 2021, so many young people are hoping for the opportunity of an education which allows them to achieve their dreams. We wish we could help everyone, but because of our limited resources we must limit our acceptances. Helping Hands requires a lengthy application form to be filled out and a home visit (virtual this year) for all applicants. So far we have accepted 30 new students for 2021. We welcome this great group of dreamers, who put all their effort into achieving their goals.

SCHOOL SUPPLIES DISTRIBUTION

In March we distributed school supplies to all of our elementary and high school students. They were most grateful to have the materials required by their schools so they can keep up with their studies. Schools in Bolivia do not provide books and materials for the students making it difficult for poorer families to keep their children in school.

WORKSHOPS

In February, we held our first online workshop of the year with all of our students. This welcoming workshop was also informative. Given by our Helping Hands team, we talked about the monthly requirements, scholarship opportunities, dates for coming workshops and much more.

Considering the importance of our students’ health, in March our workshop was directed by a Dentist, Doctor Gisela, a former Helping Hands student. Dr. Gisela gave us a very informative workshop on Dental Care, and she also explained how to choose a suitable toothpaste and toothbrush and how to use them correctly. Thank you Dr. Gisela!!

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WARMEST GREETINGS FROM HELPING HANDS

We know this year has been hard on all of us and we want to reach out to you with a message of joy and best wishes for the New Year 2021. We appreciate your support throughout the year, and we want to send love to you and your families through these handmade Christmas cards from our students. 

WE WANT TO SHARE A MESSAGE WITH YOU

LOOKING BACK OVER OUR WORKSHOPS: OCTOBER TO DECEMBER

Considering the importance of the development of healthy sexuality, in October, Helping Hands students held a discussion about Sexual and Reproductive Health. The Centro de Educación Sexual y Reproductiva (CIES), an experienced institution on the subject, addressed the key elements of erotism, gender, effective relationships and reproduction within a social context.

A second online interactive workshop aimed to prevent child abuse by training the children about how to recognise abusive behaviour.

In November, Helping Hands raised awareness about gender equality as a means of well-being and peer acceptance. The students identified practical attitudes and practices of gender bias, and prejudices rooted in social structures. 

NOVEMBER, MONTH OF SOLIDARITY
Helping Hands students spread love and solidarity during whole month of November. They put together phrases that reflected their big hearts to encourage people to be resilient. This was their way to support others in this difficult year. 

                                                “Persist!

                                                If everything were easy, anyone could achieve it¡”

MEET SOME OF OUR GRADUATES

CHRISTMAS 2020
As we are still taking precautions against the COVID 19, this year Helping Hands couldn´t celebrate Christmas with a party, as is our custom.  We did prepare panettone, cocoa, powdered milk and gifts for the students which we hope they enjoyed at home.  Hopefully we can meet with all the students for our annual Christmas party next year.

HOW YOU CAN HELP IN 2021
We are getting ready to welcome new students for the upcoming year and once again we need your help. Donations at the beginning of the year are particularly helpful as our students start the new school year in February. Remember that you can donate online at     https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/education-for-at-risk-bolivian-girls/

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Building the resilience of Helping Hands students to help them face unforeseen times like this is of utmost importance for our organisation. In July, we held an online workshop with all of our students and a psychologist to address some key points: how to adapt to adversity and keep a positive attitude, how to handle anxiety, uncertainty and grief.

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This was our first online workshop and we were so excited to see them all after such a long time. 

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This has been an unusual year for those students in their last year of school. They have a key life decision to take and decide which path to follow in the coming years. Helping Hands wants to support them to make the best decisions. With this in mind, we held the workshop “Thinking about my future” with all of our older school students to reflect on their vocational aptitudes and how to decide from amongst various career options. 

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Jenny is an excellent student who is now finishing high school. She realises that choosing a career is an important decision in her life. As the pandemic has caused schools to close in Bolivia, and with few online lessons, she is studying and getting ready for admissions on her own. She has great expectations for her future. Jenny wants to be an accountant or a petroleum engineer. She pictures herself working in an office, talking and helping people and being able to have her own house where she can look after her siblings.

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Melanie feels sad about finishing high school without seeing her friends. However, this young determined girl has already decided to study psychology. In her own words: “I want to leave a mark on the world and in someone´s life”. She believes that becoming a psychologist will allow her to help others and understand them. She expects to be remembered by the way she treats others

 

TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH THE CHALLENGES OF ONLINE EDUCATION IN BOLIVIA

These are challenging times for education in Bolivia. Most families have not been able to afford internet connections despite their extraordinary efforts. Helping Hands has been supporting the students by covering internet costs; so far we have supported 67 students. We thank our partners and donors for helping our students to connect and be part of a virtual classroom again. 

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                                              SHINING STUDENTS

We are proud of our students who, despite the adversities, have managed to stay focused on their studies. Eighteen students this year have been awarded an increase in their scholarship due to their excellent academic performance. Congratulations! 

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Our students during Covid 19 times

As for the rest of the world, facing these uncertain times has had a significant impact on our students. They have all written letters about their experiences during the quarantine lockdown. We analysed their letters to identify the words they most used to express their experiences. We want to share with you this general view through a word cloud. 



As you can see, most of the students felt nostalgic about all the things they were missing during the lockdown. Some of them told us that they were even missing their teachers!

Their sadness and worries were often expressed in their letters; some students and their family members have lost their jobs and lifetime savings. Most of them described what happened as unexpected and they were not ready for a situation like this. We are happy to see how resilient they all have been as well as how they have adapted to this situation as a learning experience. For most this has been a growing experience enabling them to bond and feel closer to their families: “to value my family, life, food and what is really important” has been repeated often.  


  How education has been affected in Bolivia?

For most of our students learning online has been difficult as not all schools and universities had online platforms or systems in place to face this kind of situation. This meant some students stopped having lessons for several weeks. As the weeks went by and the quarantine was extended, the educational institutions were forced to implement some online learning solutions. This is a more difficult issue for schools in rural areas and those that do not have the technological infrastructure. Luckily 89% of Helping Hands students are continuing their education and we hope that the rest can reassume their studies as soon as their institutions are ready and able to allow them to do so by distance learning methods.



The challenge of online education

Online lessons can be challenging for both teachers and students who have not had this experience in the past or do not have the technological knowhow. Our students are facing various difficulties, such as not really understanding the subjects online, not having computers, cell phones, internet coverage in their neighbourhoods or not having financial resources to access such services. For example, only 22% of our students have Wi-Fi at home. Nonetheless, the Helping Hands students are willing to try their best to pursue their educational goals.

Helping Hands Students Hidden Talents

Lockdown has been a great opportunity for nourishing new talents. Students have learned cooking, knitting, painting, drawing, doing handicrafts, playing instruments and others. Take a look at some of their new skills. 


How Bolivia is experiencing the quarantine?

Bolivia was under a very strict quarantine for over two months. People could go out for a couple of hours just once a week and this was for the purpose of purchasing provisions only. Some of the students sent photographs of how their neighbourhoods looked like during the quarantine. 


How Helping Hands has been helping their students?

Our students have managed to stay in their programs throughout these years and we feel it is of utmost importance to try to guarantee that a situation like this does not affect their progress or be the cause of them dropping out. For this reason, the organisation is doing follow ups to monitor their well-being each month and is providing support where it is needed, either to cover food supplies, basic services, access to internet, hygiene or biosecurity supplies.





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Organization Information

Fundacion Helping Hands-La Paz (Bolivia)

Location: La Paz - Bolivia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Linda Zarate
La Paz, Bolivia
$25,644 raised of $35,000 goal
 
130 donations
$9,356 to go
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