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Following an earthquake which struck Bolivia in 1998, SOS Children's Villages established an emergency relief programme providing food, medical care and shelter, as well as temporary accommodation for over 500 children separated from their families in the disaster … more about our charity work in Bolivia

Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Sucre, Bolivia

Sponsored child from Sucre
Sponsored child from Sucre

A child sponsorship report from Sucre in Bolivia. Written in 2009.

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.

Hoping this year is full of blessings and personal achievements, we share the development of the work of SOS Children’s Villages Sucre with you.

SOS Children’s Villages – Sucre has 14 families conformed by 66 girls, 56 boys as well as 52 adolescents. Two families are still living in temporary houses until the equipment of the two new houses is finished. Meanwhile, these families are living in the Aunts House and the former nursery.

The families of the villages welcomed several groups of children with emotion; among them, we have Paola, Diego and John. Before, they were separated and located in different State Orphanages and they suffered because they visited each other only on weekends. They hugged and didn’t want to separate during their visits. Thanks to the opportune coordination of the Social Worker of the Village with the state authorities, the miracle of joining them was done, as they’ve always wanted, in the SOS Children’s Villages-Sucre.

Through dialogue, the mothers meditate and guide their adolescent children as the bad use and influence of Internet was the main problem for most of them to disregard their school duties. During this year, the mothers worked on five result areas:

FAMILY LIFE:

The mothers, along with their children, had activities such as ‘The Family Night’ so the mothers and children could play and meditate about several topics, and eat a delicious dish. This activity helped to join them affectively and to strengthen them in love, trust and respect. The mothers and aunts also were qualified on sexual orientation for adolescents, techniques to work the mourning of children, and children’s rights and duties.

SCHOOL AND TECHNICAL FORMATION:

From the 122 children who live in the village’s families, 12 are under 4 years old, 84 children attend primary school and 26 attend high school.

Their formation is reflected success. For instance: Adalid Palacios was rewarded with the free admission to the San Francisco Xavier de Chuquisaca University to study Civil Engineering as he was the second best student of his senior class. Parallelly, he finishes his technical career, Accounting, this year.

Eight youths from the village were qualified on micro-enterprises and they could plan their own projects, which include Photography, a nursery, a bakery and metal-mechanics.

HEALTH AND NUTRITION:

Thanks to a covenant with a no governmental entity, children and youths until 23 years old are benefited with health care services. Likewise, they will have orientation and sexual education courses. Parallely to the medical and dental checkups of the children, the mothers were qualified on nutrition and the best ways of relating with their adolescent children in order to preserve their emotional health.

ARTS AND SPORTS:

Regarding art, 20 children attend the Integrated Pedagogical Resources Centre and take dance, painting and computing courses. Also, thanks to the request of the neighbors of the Child’s Neighborhood, who recognized the art skills of the village’s children, they will participate in the Chuquisaqueña Dance Festival in July and will represent the neighborhood then. In sports, 18 children and youths compete in the Soccer and Basketball Departmental Association. Twenty children from 4 to 5 years old competed in the Mini-Olympiads organized by the Honorable Municipal Governorship, and they got the fourth place.

During the anniversary of the Children’s Village, on April 11th, the families participated in sport and recreational contests. Then, all the families blew the candle of a huge cake and by the end of the afternoon they were exhausted, excited and happy. There were unforgettable anecdotes: in athletics, Nefi was in the first place in her category and suddenly, she saw her mother among the public just when she was a few meters from the finish, and she quit the race to run into her mother’s arms. Therefore, she lost the race. Nobody could believe it. Other children, who were not registered in the competition, ran unfailingly by their siblings’ side to be with them and cheer them up. Therefore, registered and unregistered children got to the finish line exhausted. All the adults have something of children inside and the mothers played and had fun like children; they won some prizes and yelled so much that they couldn’t talk afterwards.

Thirty-nine youths are in the professionalization stage. Twenty-five youths are in the Advisory stage and they finished their technical careers in different areas. Sixty-four youths are still economically dependant of the Organization; 25 youths study in Cochabamba City, 13 study in Santa Cruz City, one studies in La Paz City, one studies in Tarija City and 23 stay in Sucre City. It’s important to stand out the approaching work with their biological families, since most of them live along with their biological relatives and are developing a confident identity.  This semester, 15 youths are independent now. Ninety-nine per cent of the cases didn’t reach an economical independency but they already defined their own housing, affection and communication spaces. Seven youths pay their university studies thanks to the economical remuneration they get from doing their technical jobs.

SOCIO-CULTURAL IDENTITY:

The mothers taught their children the importance of their culture, traditions and origin. Some mothers included the biological relatives in the elaboration and pursuit of the Individual Development Plans of their children capturing their dreams and personal growth aspirations.

The children and youths participated in the Carnival of Prevention against Intra-family Violence favored by the Honorable Municipal Governorship. They decorated an allegorical carriage with messages such as ‘No to the alcohol and drugs and yes to love and respect’.

The Entrepreneur Generation Group, formed by youths from the village, participated in several events such as the Election of the Infantile Parliament in Chuquisaca and the Fair of Children and Family. Then, they let people know about the SOS Organization’s values and its integrated family model. Likewise, they participated in al the meetings of the EMPRENDER Institution and carried out entrepreneur mini-practices along with other youths from similar institutions. They sold desserts, ornaments and other articles, evaluated the activities and analyzed the difficulties of the current labor market in this department.

The technical equipment of collaborators is part of inter-institutional nest in order to offer a better service to the mothers’ demands. They are part of the Net against the Intra-Family Violence, Net of Defense of the Children and Adolescents’ Rights and the Municipal Commission of Childhood and Adolescence, and they look after the respect of the children’s rights with gender equity.

The Family and Community Strengthening Program for the Infantile Abandon Prevention reached 500 children in 20 Community Homes and 120 children in the Social Centre. The work in the Community Homes reaches 465 participant families. There is governmental support for the development and operation of the several centers and community homes.

With this report, we wanted to be closer to you so you can know about the daily activities of the families, who recognize your immense friendship and support through the distance for each one of the children who live in the SOS Children’s Village. With faith and hope, we’ll see them grow up as successful, self-confident and responsible people with themselves and their families. Thanks dear sponsors, may all your dreams come true.

Elvi Arciénega Villegas
Director SOS Children’s Village Sucre