After massive landslides triggered by heavy rainfall left over 800 families homeless and at least 100,000 people without running water, government authorities set up emergency shelters at 25 locations across the affected areas of La Paz. Within five of these shelters, SOS Children are operating Emergency Childcare Centres to make sure that children are healthy, well-nourished, and safe. Parents can then rebuild their houses, and often their livelihoods, in the knowledge that their children are being looked after by professionals.
The five Emergency Childcare Centres - each with some 50 children in its care - offer similar services as SOS community centres do: SOS staff engage the children in playful and educational activities and ensure the children are healthy and well-fed. At the same time, the identification and registration of families in need of support is coordinated in close cooperation with government authorities and other NGOs to ensure help is provided where it is needed most.
Immediately following the disaster in February, officials put SOS Children in charge of coordinating emergency efforts concerning the needs of the affected children.
At present there are nine SOS Children's Villages, nine SOS Youth Homes, three SOS Schools, three SOS Vocational Training Centres as well as 16 SOS Social Centres in Bolivia.