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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Oruro, Bolivia

Sponsored child from Oruro
Sponsored child from Oruro

A child sponsorship report from Oruro 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.

It’s a great joy to write you again and tell you about what happened in the SOS Children’s Village Oruro and in the Family Strengthening Program. We are in touch with you to let you know the most important events during this first semester.

We started this year with 133 children. The families who waited for the arrival of a new member prepared the welcome with a lot of time in advance and welcomed them with much expectation, love and joy. This year, 16 new children were welcome in different families. Mother Nelly received, all of a sudden, three boys and two girls in her three-member family, and in a short time, the integration was immediately. At mother Arelly’s house, a one year and eight month old baby arrived; at first, he cried all the time, but then, with the attention and love of everybody in that house, he’s now smiling. Everybody is happy with the arrival of the new little brother. The mother says that it’s not good to carry the baby all the time because he must be educated from the beginning. The family of mother Julieta welcomed two abandoned siblings. They are restless boys who put the personal stuff of their siblings in other places, but they teach them good manners with patience. However, we are worried about these boys’ sister, who left with the parents and we don’t have any information about her.

Regarding the construction of the new two houses, they are about to be ready. For their inauguration, we’ll invite the Childhood and Adolescence local authorities and the National Director and Sub-directors. The two families that will live in those houses visit them frequently and they are already making plans to organize their stuff.

Aunts Arelly, Irma and Jessica finished their third level studies at the Formation Centre for Mothers. They are now more self-confident and committed with their role. On May 27th, the Mother’s Day, our community appointed them officially as SOS Mothers and it was a nice event. Our goal is to make the new aunts ‘fall in love’ with us so we elaborated a support plan along with the ‘monitor’ mothers and tutors. These aunts feel happy with the supporting work they do to the families and they already feel part of them, which is what we need to assist the children and adolescents with high quality. Every mother has the support of the companion staff, professional educators who follow the development of the youths in the different stages they are, write reports to the mothers and offer services of advising and implementation of strategies to help youths with problems.

As every year, the children and adolescents are participating in the indoor soccer and basketball local associations. Others took music, dance, drawing and theater courses. This way, all of them have the opportunity to develop their sport and art skills. Thanks to the experience acquired on sports, many of them are part of the selection teams of their schools or clubs. The art and sport activities’ objective is that the children make new friends, not only from the village but also from the local community, in order to support the development of their socialization process.

Regarding theater, children have participated in plays in Oruro and Potosí cities thanks to an agreement with the Education Departmental Service. This way, they developed new scenic skills as well as educative thinking. The self-esteem, identity, protagonism, rights and organization topics were strengthened. The theater cast is planning to travel to different communities from Oruro and Potosi performing theater plays with social sense. Likewise, they are rehearsing several plays from the national wealth to perform them in different cities from Bolivia, Argentina, Venezuela and Uruguay.

This year, the families’ biggest challenge is to have ‘zero failures’ at school. Therefore, they elaborated supporting plans per family and they established alliances with a Pedagogy Institute, this way, the pursuit to the academic performance is more frequent as well as the interviews with the teachers. In the Departmental Math Olympiads, Guadalupe got a silver medal so her family and the community of the village were very proud.

Regarding the children and youths’ health, we got several alliances with a health NGO, Cuban doctors and local doctors. The objective is that all the population is assisted through a general medical evaluation and adopts preventive measures in the case of particular diseases. This way, the population of the village will have cardiologic, ophthalmologic, gastroenterological and dental evaluations and lab exams. 

Regarding the youths, the Work of Youths in Village group participated along with other youths from a specific neighborhood in a social activity related to the care of the environment in order to share the Topic with them and make them meditate about it. At the same time, they realized about the current situation of some children and adolescents and then, they felt grateful for what they had at the village. These same adolescents had the opportunity to participate in a program of prevention of the sexual harassment during five days. Now they are aware of the strategies they can use to avoid a possible situation of sexual harassment. This program was organized in such a way that the adolescents are practicing their right to participation in a natural way. Among their objectives, they want to become an entrepreneur and productive group so their ideas are already being aimed.

In February, in a humble way, we inaugurated a Youth Facility with seven girls. Four of them are studying in high school, one is about to finish her technical career in Computer Programming, and two started their university studies in Economy and Chemical Engineering after finishing their technical careers. They all are motivated, have positive ambitions and want to take advantage of the opportunities their families give them.

Fernando is doing his military service in the southern part of the country. He’s in touch with his family and they send him parcels with the stuff he needs frequently. Alejandra and Armando are also doing their pre-military service, which is other option for adolescents to get their military service card. Armando, Luis and Romer finished their labor practices in prestigious enterprises of our city; they have a good performance and it’s possible that they are hired to work in those enterprises with a good salary. Luis got his driving license, which a condition for him to work in his enterprise.

Giovanna, Maria Estela, Miriam, Elsa, Luis Alberto, Zaida, Julian, Carmen Rosa and Eva continue studying at the university. Patricia already finished her technical career and got a degree as superior technician in Pedagogy, and Alicia will finish her career, Psychology, this year. They all finished their technical careers and now they work, which helps them to finance their university studies.

Three new micro-enterprises were created: Edgar has a small restaurant and he already has many clients who look for his restaurant because of the quality service; he also serves in some social events on weekends. Leonidas has an internet shop and it’s growing with the purchasing of new computers; he studies in the Economy Faculty in the mornings. Hugo has a small sewing factory in Santa Cruz City and with a lot of effort, he already owns a house where his micro-enterprise operates and there is a store too. His wife is a great support for him.

Seven youths, after a continuous formation process, are now living independently and they all work. Cosme in working in an enterprise of milky products in Chile; Jose is working in a textile factory in Argentina; Marcelo is studying the last year of his technical career and he’ll get a degree as superior technician in Civil Constructions at the Technical University of Oruro; Patricia started her Economy studies at Domingo Savio University in Santa Cruz City.

The Family Strengthening Program has 107 children assisted in the Social Centre and 687 children under 6 years old in 29 Community Homes that work in different outlying districts of the city and 4 in the rural area. The program is supported by the Social Management Departmental Service (SEDEGES) from the Prefecture of the department. In a covenant with the Health Departmental Service (SEDES), we had the Healthy Child checkups and now we are coordinating with the Infantile Malnutrition Unit in order to improve the nutrition of the children. We also had checkups for women in the health centers. This year, the Prefecture of the department increased the educating grant due to the constant demand from the community and the Organization, which helps a lot with the stability of the community mothers.

Dear sponsors, we know that you are far away physically, but we have you in our hearts, in a special place. We thank God every day because we have you. If it wasn’t that way, the results of the children and youths from the village wouldn’t be possible. With love,

Luís Tirado Rúa
Director SOS Children’s Village  – Oruro