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Child Sponsorship Report 2009, from Tiquipaya, Bolivia

Sponsored child from Tiquipaya
Sponsored child from Tiquipaya

A child sponsorship report from Tiquipaya 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.

From the SOS Children’s Village Tiquipaya, we send you our warmest greetings, especially from the children, adolescents and youths.

We started our work with 14 families, each one with an average number of 8 children and adolescents; therefore, the total number of participants is 111, 47 girls and 64 boys.

The children and adolescents participate in different activities the surrounding community offers, such as the Scout Group, and sport activities such as swimming, soccer, basketball, dance, painting, etc.  The Village continues offering the IDC program (Integral Development of the Child) and the WYV program (Work with youths from the village). The development programs promote the mother to participate and support her children in the acquirement of the necessary skills through the early stimulation for the youngest ones; the mother also helps the other children to improve their school performance and verbal reasoning in a Reading-Writing Workshop by groups according to the school grades. For adolescents, they are taught about topics such as Sexuality, Social Skills, Vocational Orientation, etc.

Our community feels more strengthened every time since we organized recreational activities during this first semester, which consolidate the family integration. One of those activities was Carnivals, when the community organized a disguise contest with prizes, music, balloons and joy. In that opportunity, the community had a traditional dish from, the region as lunch. The children were very enthusiastic about participating in the disguise contest, but in the case of Clavel Family, it was a team work which leaded them to win the principal prize. Mother Elizabeth tells: ‘My little children anted to participate; they decided to disguise as the principal actors of a popular soap opera. I was very surprised by the way they organized everything; they helped me to elaborate the disguises and they showed me how happy and close they are as a family’. Other activity that promoted the infantile participation was the Child’s Day in April. The children gathered and chose an activity and then, they managed it. They chose to spend a day in the swimming pool, where the children and their mothers enjoyed a funny family day outdoors.

This year, the technical collaborators, mothers and aunts promoted the meditation and analysis of the importance of the Protection to the Children under the concept that their security concerns everybody and that we must create and keep an affective and protector environment.

One big event that we celebrated this year was the fact that one of the mothers from our Village is working as a mother for 30 years now. The whole organization feels very proud because of the important achievements she had with her children. Some of them have already their own families, which reflects the successful work done. Likewise, we have four persons who are in charge of a family and are postulating to become SOS Mothers. This implies that the services are being professionalized successfully in order to guarantee a quality assistance to the children.

Regarding the youths, 31 of them, who are between 16 and 20 years old, are in the professionalization stage and they are studying a technical career at the same they attend high school. Fifteen youths are in the advising or assisted housing stage, the last stage and the previous step toward the independization. Around January, a Youth Facility for girls was opened and now four girls are living there and we expect two more so they will be six in total.

Two of the independent youths started a business to consolidate a micro-enterprise; one of them is related with the enlargement of his store where he copies keys. On the Labor’s Day, the independent youths organized a sport championship to play soccer and basketball. This time, the SOS mothers presented a basketball team and they won the first place. It was a day when the affective bonds and the commitment with the youths were strengthened.

The Cochabamba Branch also has the Family Strengthening Program and the Entrepreneur Education Program, which support significantly the development of the community and its families.

The Family Strengthening Program addresses to stabilize the families in crisis and strengthen their responsibility regarding their children, which prevents the infantile abandon. Its covering is 1,500 children from 922 families from the community.

The general situation of the children who are assisted by the program is of poverty and a macho culture that violates their rights. They use to belong to communities where there are a few job opportunities, especially for men; therefore, every time, more women assume the economical responsibility of their families. These problems are sometimes the causes for the couples to break. The main problem of the mothers is to find a right place for the care of their children; as a consequence, the children are under risk, physically and psychologically. That’s the reason why the demand for assistance service through the community houses is increasing.

This year, we are strongly supporting the qualification process for mothers and women with entrepreneur characteristics and qualifications addressed to assure worthy jobs with labor insertion to improve their quality of life and also to assure their children to grow up by their families’ side.

Other program which is next the Village is the Entrepreneur Education Program, which Developer its work based on tour components: Technical Formation, Educative Units, Family and Community. In Cochabamba, at the moment, we are especially developing the Technical Formation component, which is offered to youths between 17 and 24 years old from the districts of Tiquipaya and Colcapirhua. Its objective is to have entrepreneur youths who contribute to the construction of the social capital of Bolivia. In these districts, this program offers four careers at a Medium Technician level for free and the only condition is that the students have passed the 8th grade, which allows us to increase the number of future entrepreneur people.

Each one of the careers will last 12 months and the academic offer is focused in the following areas: National and Event Cooking; Transformation of milky products, fruits and vegetables; Repair and Maintenance of computers and Technician in Infantile Integral Development. The program offers three formation stages: Technical Formation, Labor Practice and Pre-Incubation of Enterprises.

This structure is aimed to the objective of guarantying that the graduated students have their first labor experiences showing in the practice their knowledge, skills and abilities in the whole process. Currently, we have 25 students per career, it means 100 participants who come from families with scarce economical resources who live in the outlying districts the program is.

The Program signed a covenant for five years with the Municipal Government of Colcapirhua based on the pedagogic activity we do and which will benefit youths from the district as well as to their families and community. On the other hand, the Program was called to be on TV programs and also an article about it was written as an outstanding activity at a local level.

Heartfeltly, we thank you on behalf of our community for all you do for the children and youths. They, I’m sure of that, in the distance, feel very happy because you help them to build their lives and future. Sincerely,

Fernando Rojas A.

Director – SOS Children’s Village Tiquipaya