Polska pomoc


Health promotion and improving the quality of education through tutorial-caring work in children’s home in Tupiza in Bolivia

Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in South America; in many areas of development, its figures are last among the countries of the region. The Potosí Department is characterised by high levels of poverty and illiteracy, and is the poorest in the country. The Tupiza community is located in southern Bolivia at an altitude of over 3,000 metres above sea level.

As a result of the poor financial standing and living conditions of many families, children there are often left without adequate care, are forced to earn a living themselves and are unable to receive any education. The local children’s home takes in children and adolescents from dysfunctional homes who are neglected, particularly emotionally, and who thus require special care and improved opportunities vis-à-vis their peers.

Health promotion and improving the quality of education through tutorial-caring work in children’s home in Tupiza in Bolivia

Between 15 June 2016 and 31 December 2016, the Salesian Missionary Volunteer Service – Youth for the World Association collaborated with the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God to carry out a project in Tupiza aimed at promoting health and enhancing the quality of care and education among children and young people from the Potosí Department of Bolivia. The women volunteers resided at the facility between 14 August 2016 and 31 December 2016. The project was a continuation and expansion of the activities that have been carried out in the same therapeutic and educational care institution since 2009 within the framework of the Polish Aid Volunteering Programme.

The project’s direct beneficiaries were the 28 charges of the children’s home, aged 5-18. In addition to performing administrative functions in the home, the volunteers provided around-the-clock childcare, as well as remedial and educational activities in arts and crafts, sports, bibliotherapy and English, all with a health education component, including a training course in first aid. As a result of the project, home residents were able to overcome learning deficiencies and gaps and reinforce their skills in creative thinking and self-reliance. In addition, the provided health education has helped them develop proper hygiene habits.

The project has contributed to the human capital priority and Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 4, to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, and to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Health promotion and improving the quality of education through tutorial-caring work in children’s home in Tupiza in Bolivia

The implemented project provided the 28 residents of the children’s home in Tupiza with emotional support and appropriate foster care, which strengthened their sense of security and self-esteem. The supplementary compensatory classes conducted by the volunteers enabled the children to improve their scholastic achievements. By participating in art and bibliotherapy classes, the centre’s residents developed fine manual and creative thinking skills. They also improved their knowledge of English. Sports activities improved the children’s coordination and general physical fitness. Additionally, their participation in health education workshops helped residents understand how the human body functions and how to effectively prevent illnesses. Through the first-aid course, the older students learned how to respond to life- and health-threatening situations.

By providing around-the-clock care for the students and acting as role models for them, the volunteers had a positive impact on the character and personality development of these children from dysfunctional families. The character traits inculcated in them, such as responsibility, accountability, and honesty, will help them in establishing proper family structures in the future.

Activities undertaken by the women volunteers were responsive to the real needs of the children and young people. The outcomes indicate the necessity and desirability of providing similar support in future.