Project Location: La Paz, Bolivia
Project Type: Education
Project Code: BGL1020

Background: The Guadalupe sponsor site serves children and families living in the outer neighbourhoods of La Paz, Bolivia.

Chalice community projects - Strengthening students and parents doing school work from home, BoliviaChalice has run the sponsorship program there since 2009, and in 2019 it came under the direction of the Good Shepherd Sisters. This congregation also runs Chalice's Levantate Mujer site in Sucre, Bolivia. These neighbourhoods are an unusual mix of rural and urban. La Paz is a metropolitan city, but even though the families live within the city limits, they face extreme poverty and isolation from the advantages it offers. Many families have little access to education, health, and basic services. When the parents were young, many had to drop out of school to find work, and unfortunately that cycle continues with their own children.

As a result, these communities struggle with high dropout rates among youth, leaving them more vulnerable to substance abuse, unemployment and sadly, domestic violence.

The Good Shepherd Sisters have seen similar difficulties in other Bolivian communities, but have also seen the powerful difference that a robust after-school support program can make. They have had tremendous success in the past, seeing children thrive and advance in their studies, surpassing their challenges.

Now they want to bring those same opportunities to 60 vulnerable children in La Paz, as well as 200 of their parents and guardians. With this year-long program, the Guadalupe site will provide academic support, inspiring arts and crafts, and exciting team-building activities that will teach the children social skills while they are laughing and creating friendships.

To roll this out, the site will need to buy school supplies and 60 tablet computers, one for each child. The tablets are necessary because the global pandemic caused Bolivia to close all in-person classes indefinitely. Internet access is therefore essential for the children to keep up with their classes and assignments. The tablets will also be the medium for the after-school support program.

The students' success relies on the constant support and encouragement from their parents and guardians. So, the site will offer online sessions for the adults, offering advice and information about how to help their children adapt to this new online school environment and their new roles as co-teachers. These sessions will also be a forum for much-needed social time, building community bonds, and sharing resources. The mental health benefits of having a community of support during isolation is a wellspring of encouragement for these parents navigating new and intimidating roles.

The site will also conduct a large online gathering with 150 guardians of sponsored children who are not involved in the after-school program to discuss the important topic of children's rights.

The Guadalupe site has requested $49,931.51 CAD to achieve their goal of supporting and enhancing the home-school education experience, and boosting the social connections of 60 vulnerable students and their guardians. These funds will include the costs of school supplies, the 60 tablets, and the time and talents of the site workers conducting the programming until February 2022. This program will benefit not only the 60 sponsored children and 200 parents, but the ripple effects on their families and community members will encompass 1178 people.

Budget in Canadian Funds: $49,931.51 CAD

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Please note that any donations that exceed the request will be used to fund other community projects/programs that may arise.


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