We are changing life trajectories, and we welcome you to be a part of it!
Bolivia Kids works in partnership with Bolivian communities to improve the health, education and well-being of children and youth. Together, we envision a world where all children have the opportunity to realize their full potential. Our goal is to improve the future of children by identifying and harnessing their strengths.
Bolivia Kids aims to tackle the root causes of inequality, and collectively nurture each child's capacity to overcome barriers and realize their potential.
Parents and grandparents also benefit from education programs as well as their active involvement in project governance. Through their participation, they develop a supportive network of relationships that grow their capacity to provide for their children's developmental needs. Our team of instructors builds capacity in the larger community by providing teacher-training and technical support to surrounding elementary schools, promoting child protection and family violence prevention, and working to challenge beliefs and attitudes that foster gender inequality.
Bolivia Kids strives to promote equality, develop sustainable solutions, and create collaborative and inclusive processes, with a particular focus on supporting children to exercise their rights, express their views, and participate actively in their communities. Addressing the current community needs is our immediate focus. However, Bolivia Kids and the children we work with have shared many dreams for the future, including a Canada-Bolivia youth exchange.
Where We Work
Project Sariry is located in the community of Tilata, just outside of El Alto and La Paz. It is a community on the rural/urban divide, and it is made up of rural migrant families who have come to the city in search of economic opportunities and better quality education and services for their children.
Since 2007, Bolivia Kids has been helping underprivileged children and their families build resilience and transcend poverty through literacy, life skills and nutrition.
What We Do
Bolivia Kids works in collaboration with our partners at Project Sariry to provide marginalized children between the ages of 3 and 18 years with education, primary health care, and unique opportunities to develop leadership and life skills. Children access programs at Project Sariry before and after school. (In Bolivia, children attend school in the morning or afternoon only).
Our collective work is focused on five core areas:
Education is one of the most powerful means to break the cycle of poverty and positively change a life trajectory.
At Project Sariry, children receive enriched learning opportunities and support with their school work so that they reach higher levels of education.
The children are actively involved in school governance. They learn their rights and how to advocate for them. Together, we strive to create a safe community-hub where children and their families acquire knowledge, experience, and life skills that enable them to realize their full potential and participate as active members of their communities.
We work together to ensure the children's' right to a healthy start in life. Each day, children receive a nutritious lunch, snacks, and additional vitamins if needed, to overcome and prevent malnutrition.
Twice annually, children receive physical and dental check-ups. Instructors promote a healthy lifestyle to children and their parents, and also provide quality reproductive sexual health education. A key objective at Project Sariry is to ensure that all children have birth certificates so that they can access government services.
Girls face unique barriers due to discrimination that can lead to gender-based violence, limited educational and economic opportunities, and early pregnancy.
Gender inequality is a tragedy for individuals, their families, and society as a whole. At Project Sariry, girls are actively involved in all facets of program governance and take on many leadership roles. Instructors actively work with boys, young men, and fathers to champion gender equality.
Protection - Household violence has a devastating impact on child development. Witnessing or experiencing violence creates toxic stress which can negatively impact brain development and healthy growth.
The instructors at Project Sariry, including an on-site child psychologist, work with children, parents, schools and communities to promote children's rights and to support children in conflict situations.
Children are also threatened in their community by human trafficking, which is a considerable problem in Bolivia. Project Sariry provides a safe environment to learn and play while parents are working.
Project Sariry provides many opportunities for children to develop their leadership and inform their world view. Children participate in music, theatre, dance, and recreation, including outdoor camping experiences and visits to important cultural and heritage sites.
These off-site activities provide wonderful opportunities for children to learn more about the environment, their Aymara cultural values and traditions, and to build confidence and community.
How We Do It
Our projects are small, grassroots, and have tremendous community involvement. The communities - including the children and youth - define the needs, priorities, and goals. They participate actively in planning, implementation and decision making.
Families contribute what they can to the projects, including small financial contributions. Most notably, they contribute their time. Together, we develop strategies that address the root causes of poverty. It has been a wonderful and rich learning experience for us all as we exchange ideas, share knowledge, contribute resources, and collaborate to enhance children's access to educational opportunities and health care.
What We've Achieved
The instructors at Sariry engage in community outreach by hosting workshops focused on reducing family violence. They also provide professional development to teachers in the surrounding elementary schools.