Chalice community projects - school support program for sponsored children in BoliviaProject Location: Cochabamba, Bolivia
Project Type: Education
Project Code: BPP0517B

Background of site:
Cochabamba is the fourth largest city in Bolivia, with a population of just over one million people.

One of the biggest challenges Bolivia faces is that more than 800,000 children between the ages of 6 and 15 work as street vendors, shoe polishers, or in hotels, restaurants, and markets. It is estimated that about 200,000 of these child workers are in Cochabamba. For many, it can be too much to keep up with both work and school, and they end up dropping out of school.

Chalice's PENNT Sponsor Site in Cochabamba helps children who are working on the streets trying to earn enough income to remain in school, as well as help support their families. They come from poor families, and many of the parents are illiterate and only speak Quechua (native language) so are unable to help their children with their homework and any learning difficulties. This School Support Program was developed to prevent school desertion among children aged 6 to 18 years, and seeks to offer a change to the reality of low resource children and adolescents who work and/or are at risk of school dropout. The program works with six sub-sites on the outskirts and in the rural areas of Cochabamba and operates in two shifts consistent with the school system in Bolivia (limited school space necessitates that there is a morning and afternoon shift). The program consists of assisting with completion of homework given by the teachers from school and providing individualized extra help with learning difficulties the children may have in different areas. Additionally, the site conducts workshops and training sessions with the children, adolescents, and parents in areas such as health, hygiene, and parenting, among others.

The sponsor site truly believes in the effectiveness of this program and this belief is supported by results over the past three years which show that in each year, over 99% of the sponsored children successfully passed their school year grades, leaving less than 1% who either failed or dropped out (in 2016 there were 933 sponsored children). A number of these students have gone on to gain entrance to university through the Hope For My Future Program - a higher education program also supported by Chalice.

Project Objectives: Our sponsor site has recently transitioned from the distribution of benefits model to a model that distributes funds directly to the family. Children must attend school and still receive all the benefits, but through the family with the help and accountability of the family circle groups they belong to. However, the quality of education is often poor and children need extra help to achieve results that will allow them to get meaningful employment that will allow them to escape the cycle of poverty. It is the After School Support Program that will give them the opportunity to access this help and maintain the current pass rate for these students from poor families. The site is desperate to retain the program, which includes a complimentary meal prepared by the parents of the children in coordination with the site and based on a limited budget. This proposal is to provide funding in the amount of $249,044 to cover the cost of continuing the program for the period January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019. Cost includes 50% for salaries, 48% for nutrition, and 2% for materials.

Budget in Canadian funds: $249,044

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Please note that any donations that exceed the request will be used to fund other Community Projects that may arise.
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