Population:10.5 millionLiteracy Rate:86.7%Religion: Roman Catholic (95%)
Salesian Missions is bringing hope to one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Half a million children in the country must work to support their families, 92,000 live in homes for orphaned, abandoned or disabled children, and 3,700 children struggle to survive on the streets where they face malnutrition and addiction.
Teach Agricultural Skills
In Bolivia, training in agriculture practices inspires transformation of communities. At the Muyurina Agricultural School, more than 600 high school students and 100 advanced students are receiving training and learning to integrate their work into the local community. An estimated 20,000 people in the communities benefit directly from this program as a result of the school’s extension and community outreach programs.
More Missions in Bolivia
In Bolivia, educational efforts focus on children who might otherwise be left behind. Only half of rural children complete primary school and many others leave school to help support their families, according to UNICEF. Therefore, education extends far beyond the traditional classroom in Salesian Mission schools and programs. Outreach connects with children on the street who have never received schooling. Tutoring prepares children for success. Technical training provides solid job skills. All schools and programs increase access to learning, as well as the support needed for students to achieve. One new student is Esteban, an eight-year-old child who lived on the street and is now preparing to enter school for the first time. His hope is to learn a trade to support not only himself, but also his family.
In Bolivia, families now have access to safe drinking water in their homes through community water distribution projects. For example, in the town of “19 de Agosto” in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the new distribution brings water directly to 106 families who previously had to carry potable water from the town well to their own homes. In addition, the distribution system greatly improves the sanitary conditions of the drinking water. And, in the town of “Las Parabas,” 50 families now have water distribution directly into their homes.
In rural areas in Bolivia, job opportunities are often limited. Through the unique “Strengthening Micro-Enterprises in Rural Areas” project, young men and women learn about the possibilities of starting their own businesses in an entrepreneurial culture. This knowledge leads to better development alternatives and opportunities for micro enterprises formed by youth. Youth increase their technical capacity, and the program works to establish marketing channels that will allow the youth’s micro-enterprises achieve greater productivity and competition—resulting in economic gains that directly improve quality of life.
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