RAINY SEASON, CARE SEASON

Bolivia is in the middle of the rainy season. Santa Cruz is especially aware of it because it is mosquito season, diseases such as Dengue fever, Chikungunya and Zika increases.

“Last August ChildFund Bolivia organized a workshop about the Zika virus, with medical experts from the World Health Organization, the Pan-American Health Organization and the Health Ministry” tells Dr. Jaime Severich, the current Villa Alegre Project’s coordinator. “Our staff members, youth leaders and mothers attended the Workshop. We also invited medical staff from our neighborhood health centers. During two days we learned about the mosquito and its illnesses.”

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Now it is time to inform our community and teach them about the importance of how to be prepared. The Villa Alegre local partner participated in different community fairs. “We talked about the symptoms, what to do and how to behave if somebody has a fever”, tells Dr. Severich. “We also warned families about the importance of having a clean house, to prevent more mosquito breeding.”

 

Noel Kempff Health Center fair

This health center prepared a fair on September 20th. Villa Alegre’s youth leaders prepared a stand to educate and explain about the theme. Around 300 community members attended.

Campeche Oral Health Fair

The Villa Alegre local partner also organized its own health fairs, one in the Campeche neighborhood on November 17th. Campeche is a distant community with easy access issues, especially in rainy season because roads are flooded as are the houses. Around 130 community members attended the fair to learn about dental care and also to hear about the Zika problem and how to manage hygiene at home.

Villa Alegre Oral Health Fair

The same fair is organized in Villa Alegre’s main community center. On October 15th Villa Alegre’s health staff prepared a stand with Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya information. Around 150 family and community members attended this fair and learned more about the problem.

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“As soon as the rainy season begins, the problem with mosquitoes begins also” reminds Dr. Severich, “then, it is vital to prevent new mosquitos’ breeding grounds in any place: backyards, ditches, pots… This education process is very important to help the community.”

HOME, SWEET HOME

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Raquel (left), along with her siblings.

Raquel lives with her family in Urbanizaciones Unidas, a small neighborhood in Santa Cruz.  Local Partner Lucerito works with ChildFund Bolivia in the area. Raquel is 20 and is studying Architecture in public University; she had the opportunity to participate in a singular house building experience last weekend. This is her story.

Urbanizaciones Unidas is one of the peri-urban neighborhoods located in Santa Cruz and has many needs such as public sanitation or proper road access. But one of the problems Raquel’s family faces is the lack of living space. She shares her house with other 10 family members. Her family was chosen to have a transitional house built by TECHO Bolivia and funded by ChildFund Germany. Other 14 families in the area benefited with the project too. “I live with my parents, my grandma, two little siblings and now my sister has two children and lives with her husband with us,” she tells us. “My sister Yesenia will live with her family in this new place.”

Saturday 26th was the first day to build the structure. A big truck arrived early in the morning to the neighborhood’s sport field carrying wood products. More than 50 volunteers from TECHO Bolivia were waiting along with community members. “Everybody helps,” tells Ciro, a TECHO Volunteer, “We want to build the houses in 2 days. Today we can finish the floor and maybe the walls, family members can help of course.” Urbanizaciones Unidas used to be a garbage disposal area until people arrived; they worked very hard to clean it up and prepare it to live there. “Around 39% of Bolivian population lives in poverty, that means almost 3 million of inhabitants living with infringed rights,” points Roger Yance, TECHO Bolivia social director.

Saturday and Sunday the sun shines; but hot weather does not stop volunteers or Raquel’s family. “We must finish the roof before the sun rises and the heat rises” alerts Arturo, one of the volunteers. Raquel, her dad Rudy and her brothers worked very hard and the house is almost finished. “I am very impressed about these young people; their wish to help others is an example for my kids and for other children,” says Rudy. “It is like a big network build by them to help.”

Un sueño hecho realidad from ChildFund Bolivia on Vimeo.

Sunday noon, everybody is tired, the weather is hot but satisfaction over the good work is reflected on every face around the table. The community prepared a big meal for volunteers and neighborhood members. The work is finished and 15 families can say now `home, sweet home.´

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Home, sweet home!

Second photography contest – 2014

Our daily goal has always been to help children to empower their lives, so they can become leaders of enduring changes, and it is very touching to see those changes precisely in every day activities or small changes in children’s’ lives.  More over when children are those who identify the change and share them with art.

ChildFund Bolivia works with Youth and children clubs where they learn Leadership, social participation and activism, they learn to identify their community’s problems and suggest a solution, no matter it is a small problem such as lack of garbage cans or public illumination, ant that dream starts with a picture.

To encourage children and youth to traint their critical eye we launched our second photography contest, this year the main theme eas “The way my reality changed with ChildFund” and we are proud to present the Winers and Finalist:

8 to 14 years category:

Winner: 

Name: Santiago Soleto

Local Lartner: Villa Alegre

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Finalist: 

Jhonathan Gonzales (Un Nuevo Caminar):

 

15 to 18 years category: 

Winner: 

Name: Rossy del Valle Cuellar

Local Partner: Lucerito

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Finalist:

Florinda Fernandez Cabezas (Churupata): 

 

Technicians category:

Winner: 

Name: Enzo Copa

Local Partner: Sella en Marcha

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Finalist: 

Yovana Soliz (Villa Alegre): 

Finalist: 

Groverth Condori (Mosoj Kausay)

75th Anniversary Celebration in Bolivia

75 years of work can tell you a lot of things, hundreds of success stories, day to day experiences and a lot of satisfaction, mainly because ChildFund represents hope in the hearts of thousands of children and their families.

In April 2014 children are protagonist in Bolivia, due to National Children´s Day on the 12th of April. At the same time ChildFund Bolivia and their local partners combined this national event with their 75 year anniversary and so everyone got into the spirit of celebration!

75 aniversary celebration in Santa Cruz local partner "Villa Alegre"

Santa Cruz celebration

Our local partners in Santa Cruz kicked off the celebration with an oral hygiene campaign, which saw each child been given a dental checkup and free toothbrush, of course after eating the 75th Anniversary birthday cake! The entire community of the local partner Villa Alegre got together to share a celebration among with doctors and dentists who carried out medical checkups with over 1700 children, with the help of 100 students and 15 teachers from Ecologic National University.

In Cochabamba, our 5 local partners from peri-urban and rural area took part in the  “Sponsorship Olympic Games” where more than 120 children and their families played together and developed many activities where they could learn more things about sponsorship procedures; games as “letter’s bingo”, “crosswords” or “small photographers in action” captured children’s attention.

The National Office in La Paz also performed two main activities, on Sunday the 13th of April, more than 700 children, youth, family members and technicians marched through the streets of the city with banners and signs against violence and exploitation, this was a walk organized for the global campaign “Free From Violence” and we had the support of national police department and “Las Cebras de La Paz” a group of Citizenship Mentors from local government. At the end of our ten block walk, we held an exhibition fair with information about Free From Violence campaign and ChildFund programs.

main event in La Paz

main event in La Paz

Finally, on April 15th we had our main event, with government and other NGOs representatives, it was a warm and friendly afternoon with children, parents, NO staff and other friends of the organization to celebrate our 75th anniversary. That day we gave awards to key people and organizations who work for children and their rights, such as Isabel Mesa and Oscar Alfaro who are nationally recognized as Bolivian authors for children; TV youth programs like “Sexual Community” or PICA (Programas Inteligentes con adolescentes) a daily ten minute TV segment for youth by youth; “Las Cebras de La Paz” who educate children in schools with citizenship values and culture and finally the musical foundation “Bolivia Clásica” due to their work with poor children and musical instruction as a tool for leadership. Our National Director, Wendy McFarren presented a remembrance of our 75 years of work and the programs we implement in Bolivia, as well as the results of the global contest “Small Voices, Big Dreams” to the media and all our guests.