BOLIVIA: Children continue studies with scholarships from donor funding
Salesian students in the San José de la Floresta Parish receive scholarships thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions.
NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Feb. 21, 2022) Salesian students in primary and secondary school in the San José de la Floresta Parish in Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, received scholarships thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. A total of 23 children and older youth were supported with the scholarship funding.
The youth who received scholarships are from low-income families and large families with parents who could not afford school fees. Some children lost their father or mother due to COVID-19 and were left in the care of a relative or in a single parent family. Most of the parents work in an informal business or as street vendors. Some have a small business but only earn enough to feed their families for the day.
A Salesian missionary said, “La Floresta Parish can only help children and young people with the collaboration of good-hearted people, since as a parish it does not generate any type of income, and the collection only serves to cover parish expenses. Thanks to the help of donors, we can support families in need so that their children can continue studying.”
One of the scholarship recipients was Yoselin Sánchez Chávez, age 8. She has five siblings with two of them studying in high school and three attending primary school. Her father is a farmer and her mother sells food to support the family. In addition, they buy medicines Sánchez Chávez needs due to a medical condition.
At age 5, Sánchez Chávez began to not feel well and noticed a change in the color of her skin. She did not eat or sleep well. Her family managed to gather some financial resources and consulted with a specialist in gastroenterology. After several studies, which included a liver biopsy, an alteration of hepatocellular enzymes was identified. Despite her health situation, Sánchez Chávez lives happily with her parents and works hard to be a good student.
Bolivia is the poorest country in South America and has the most unequal income distribution on the continent. According to the World Bank, the poverty rate was 35 percent in 2018. It is common for Bolivians to struggle to find adequate nutrition, shelter and other basic necessities. The geography of Bolivia contributes to the overwhelming poverty of its residents. Large swaths of the country remain undeveloped with a lack of roads and infrastructure.
Contact: [email protected]