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Sponsor's update report 2009 from Potosi, Bolivia

Child sponsorship Potosi, Bolivia
Child sponsorship Potosi, Bolivia

Child sponsorship update report from 2009 from the SOS Children's Village Potosi, Bolivia

Dear sponsors,

Once again, we thank you for your support, especially in this situation of crisis and changes the world has been going through. The principal objective of this information is to keep you informed of what happened in the Village during this first semester. Thanks to you and your continuous support, we are able to help more than 14,000 beneficiaries, from whom, almost 1,500 live in a SOS Children’s Village.

Ref: Aldea Infantil SOS Potosí

It’s a great joy to write you and tell you about what happened in the SOS Children’s Village Potosi and in the Family Strengthening Programme.

In the Long-term childcare in permanent substitute families programme, we started our work with the joy of welcoming new children. In this process, the SOS mother and her children visited the biological family of the new children so they could know them. Before their admission, the community wanted to be part of the welcome through solidarity acts; they brought clothes and food for the children who would enter the village. They prepared a great welcome in the village with chocolates, balloons, candies and a cake.

The village has now 123 children and youths who participate in different activities. One of them is the family integration competence called ‘Rally Match’, where children participate along with their biological and SOS families in games such as the Hidden Treasure, Obstacles Race, Questions and Answers, etc. We could see the great happiness the children felt to have their families together.

With the objective of improving the family communication, we also had recreational games with the families from the village. Every family chose a color to be identified with and they all participated, even the pet of one of the families, a little dog that had the color of the family.

The community feels more strengthened and there is a greater integration in the families. The mothers make decisions in a harmonic dialogue and participation environment; for this, it was good their participation in formation, preparation and upgrade workshops as well as their attendance to psychological group therapies in the community. The mothers are aware of their importance in order to develop personal and group skills to work with children and adolescents. The autonomy process the families and community have allows them a greater development as they understand and apply the principles of the organisation in a direct way to become the protagonists of their own future.

We are having activities with the group of youths in order to motivate and discover their aptitudes and skills in different areas such as theater, sport, formation and school. This way, the children and youths’ theater talent, spontaneity and feelings were shown in the production of a movie called ‘Something bothers’, where they were protagonists. The scenery was inside the village and its surroundings. This family is about two families with different economic situations. One of them has many needs but they have affection, brotherhood, solidarity and togetherness although they don’t have parents and they struggle every day to go on. In the other family prevails the selfishness, ambition, disrespectfullness and other attitudes that lead to the family disintegration. The outcome presents the message of the value for life, the family togetherness and above all, the courage to overcome the problems. When the movie was presented in the community, mothers and children were moved, happy and satisfied and they appreciated the talent of the actors and recognized the team work and the perseverance that gave good results.

Many children and youths practice sports. Some of them belong to the selection basketball and soccer teams of their schools and others are attending sport schools. Diego, for instance, traveled to Cochabamba City with the selection volleyball team of Potosí. Some time ago, Paola won the election of the ‘Sport Queen’ because she was a good basketball placer at school. Her biological and SOS families supported her and they were very happy.

In order to prepare the youths in their formation process and for them to have greater alternatives, knowledge and success in their labor and/or professional lives, the representative of Visionaries Creating (a group of youths from the village) was qualified in a workshop called ‘To wake up and strengthen entrepreneur skills in youth’. Now, she must teach what she learned to the rest of the youths in the village. Other youths attended qualifications on sexuality, values, rights and duties, and procedures to prevent law infractions.

Ninety five per cent of the children and adolescents study and attend to public and covenant schools. Five per cent of the children are from 0 to 5 years old and their mothers prepare them for the time they attend school.

Currently, 19 youths study a technical career in different areas: Infirmary Auxiliary, System Analysis, Electro-mechanics, Marketing and Managerial Assistant.  Angelica finished her studies in Graphic Design and now she’s is working in a well-known English teaching centre in La Paz City, western Bolivia. Susana graduated from high school and now she’s studying Audit at the university.

Thanks to the covenants the programme signed and looking after the children and adolescents’ rights, 70% of the population of the village was benefited with a programme to obtain their identification cards for free. The covenant with the Prefecture allowed the family model the organisation works with to be valued. This way, the Prefecture requested a copy of the family model to open a project called ‘Musuq Wasinchij1 and started its activities with four families. For this, the long-term childcare in permanent substitute families programme supports the mother and aunts of that project with the monitoring of the SOS mothers.

During this year, the Family Strengthening Programme is in charge of the operation of 31 community centres located in 12 districts (Potosi has 15 districts in total). Each district is divided into local boards according to the number of beneficiaries of the programme from community homes. The covenants signed allow alliances to integrate the base organisations and institutions from the community in order not to duplicate efforts; they are the local boards, the municipal government and the departmental government. The beneficiaries have a common characteristic, they come from the countryside and outlying districts of the city and they are devoted to the informal economy; most of them are people who work exploding minerals from the Cerro Rico de Potosi hill.

Currently, that programme has 1,027 children and 696 families distributed in community homes and centres. To improve the assistance in the programme, we have defined new strategies to strengthen the service quality for children. This situation generates covering stability, which is kept according to the achieved goals.

The Family Reinforcement programmes address to the organisation of nets for the defense of the children’s rights. The covenants signed allow alliances to integrate the base organisations and the institutions from the community in order not to duplicate efforts; these institutions are the local boards, the municipal government and the departmental government. They imply the participation of political organisations and base organisations from the community as well as the active participation of the family committees and the execution of the AOP. In Potosi, there are 200 local boards in favor of the children from community homes.

This year, the programme also managed activities to support families regarding the obtaining of identification cards for the children and mothers from the Community Homes. This action also allowed the obtaining of birth certifications and the recognition cards of children as a previous requirement to get the identification card.

Other important activity was the meeting of leaders with the topic ‘Citizenship and Rights’ with the participation of the local leaders and the leaders of the family committees. We also had a massive campaign to prevent the uterine cancer addressed to women and mothers.

The Tomas Frias Community Home received a public recognition because of its work with children and families in a public act; for this occasion, municipal authorities and neighbors attended.

Hoping to continue receiving that unconditional and solidary support and telling you about the activities of the SOS Children’s Village Potosi in favor of children and adolescents, we say goodbye.

Sincerely,

Estela Chambi
Director, SOS Children’s Village Potosi

We thank you sincerely for your support. Our warmest greetings,

Paloma Delaine R.
Sponsorship Advisor
Children’s Villages SOS Bolivia