I send you a warm greeting from Tarija-Bolivia. It’s a great pleasure to be in touch with you again as you are with us every year carrying out the mission of guaranteeing a loving home for every child. I also send greetings and I welcome those who are part of this project for the first time.
Thanks to your contribution, more than 3,000 children and youths and their families participate in the Organization through its different programs and assistance services. This time, we want to share some of the achievements that allow us to get our goals.
In the Long-term Family based Care Program, the programmed coverage of 136 children and adolescents living in 15 families was achieved. Sixty four youths are in the independization process, in the professionalization or advice stages.
Twelve children between 3 and 11 years old were welcomed. The families of the village looked forward this event and they prepared their arrival with joy and enthusiasm and these children had a warm and festive welcome.
These children got used to their new family environment with no problems and they strengthened their family and affective relationships along with the rest of the members of the families.
Given the characteristics of the children’s families, a supporting process started in order to overcome the needs identified. So far, this process goes well.
The return of three children to their biological families was also an important achievement because after a year of strengthening the affective relationships which lasted almost a year, the objective materialized in coordination with all the relevant state parties. At the moment, their adaptation process is still monitored. Although the material deprivation of the families, with pleasure, we could see a greater emotional stability of the children, which is evident in the daily relationship with their biological families that includes the biological mother, grandparents and mother uncles and aunts. However, the contact with the SOS family is still there.
Regarding education, the school performance improved. From 129 children who attend school, 16% were the best students of their schools and their effort was rewarded with diplomas and certificates.
Regarding youths in the independization process, 49% are studying a technical career and the other 51% already got a profession. Ten per cent of these professionals are taking specialization courses or studying a university career.
The possibilities of educative development and formation for the children, adolescents and youths are greater thanks to alliances and covenants signed with institutions such the Bolivian American Centre (CBA), which is an institution specialized on teaching English as a foreign language, and private universities that allow the superior education with accessible costs according to the families’ economic possibilities. These alliances allowed 22 children and adolescents between 8 and 18 years old to get scholarships with the possibility of applying to specialization courses abroad.
Family Strengthening Programme of Tarija
Almost at the end of the third four-month period, it’s nice to share the results achieved in the Family Strengthening Programme, which attends 2.000 children in more than 100 community homes and centres, and 1.300 families.
Forty seven micro-credits were granted as part of the service in the component Woman and Family which objective is to improve the economic conditions and therefore, the life quality of the applicants. Also, the development of the community’s technical capacities is important in order to empower women, men and families and in this case, the Family Committees’ management is crucial.
In this task, the inter-institutional coordination carried out by the leaders of these family committees is important as it allows outsourcing services in benefit of the participant families and communities.
The meeting of the leaders and the president of the pluri-national state of Bolivia, Mr. Evo Morales Aima, and the minister of Justice, Nrs. Nilda Copa, allowed the recognition of these organizations as promoters in the defence of children. This also allowed the approval of the project for the construction of 25 productive Community Centres in risky areas on the part of the Prefecture of the department.
As a result of the formalities carried out, they got an increase of 80% in the grants for the Community Mothers who assist the children from the Family Strengthening Programme, and a 60% in the food grants for the participant children from the Family Strengthening and Long-term Family based Care Programmes.
Entrepeneur Education Programme
Finally, it’s important to let you know about the results achieved in the Entrepreneur Education Programme, which attends 810 children and their families. Here, the entrepreneur profile begins in children from 6 to 8 years old who attend the primary level. They have a co-education fair with the objective of presenting their ideas and dreams to their parents so they can learn how to strengthen the development of those skills. Therefore, the Prevention Unit of the Children and Adolescents Court participated also in this fair.
In order to improve the quality of education of the participant adolescents, in coordination and with an active participation of the community, the project to equip the physics and chemistry lab was elaborated with the advice of the Education Department of the Municipal Government.
The Entrepreneur Development Centre (CEDE) was created with the participation of consultants under the responsibility of the Educative Programme. It gives advice services to new ventures and is addressed to families from the community of District 7 of Tarija city.
Likewise, it’s important to have a study in order to know the social-economic characteristic of the families from District 7. This study will identify the needs and give proposals such as the extent of the qualification and labour insertion services.
On the other hand, in order to improve the social-economic and productive conditions of the participant youths and parents given their technical professionalization and incubation of ventures and/or employability, the MPED Project (My First Proper Employment Project) was awarded. This project consists on Developing Skills addressed to youths who don’t have labour steadiness or who have low incomes and live in peripheral areas of the city. This way, the intention is to contribute to the strengthening of the forming actions of the participant youths and parents of all the programmes of SOS Children’s Villages, to develop actions of professionalization at a medium technician level for youths and parents, to allow the development of ventures and/or labour insertion and to contribute to the productive component of the Prefecture’s project.
We hope this information gives you a clear idea of the advances and achievements of the programs in Tarija. I say goodbye and thank you on behalf of the children and their families for your contribution in the construction of alternatives addressed to the fulfilment of the exercise of the children’s rights.
SOS Children's Village Tarija