SOS Social Centres in Bolivia

In Bolivia there are currently 16 Social Centres for children and the local community, including those in Oruro, El Alto and Tiquipaya.  Many SOS Social Centres operate via Family Strengthening Programmes, which aim to support the wider community.  Below is some information about some of the Social Centres that SOS Children runs in Bolivia:

SOS Social Centres around Bolivia: In-Depth

Oruro

Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

The SOS Social Centre opened in 1996 and comprises a day-care centre for up to 140 children, and a small health-care centre. Six group rooms, a treatment room, a seminar room for further education and additional rooms are available. The SOS Social Centre is also available to the public and hence makes an important contribution towards improving living conditions in the neighbourhood. Two SOS Youth Facilities (one for girls, one for boys) provide accommodation for a total of 18 young people from SOS Children’s Village Oruro for the duration of their higher/vocational education.

Work and Achievements:

In 2009, Oruro’s Family strengthening program worked with 199 children at the Social Center and  665 in 28 Communitarian Centres, plus 577 families;  21 of these centres work under an agreement with the PAN Program (Program of attention to a children under  6 years old) - Sedeges ( Social Management Service ), 4 centres in agreement with Challapata’s mayorship and 2 Centres with SOS Children’s Villages.

Tiquipaya

Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

There has been an SOS Social Centre on this plot of land since 1988. It is a valuable source of healthcare for many low income families. Health services include a paediatrician, a dentist, first aid, and a small dispensary. A day-care centre with places for the supervision of 160 preschool children complements the services of the SOS Social Centre.

Work and achievements:

The Family Strengthening Program of Cochabamba assists 1,477 children and their families who live in poverty and social exclusion in suburban zones of the city. From this population, 151 children (corresponding to 109 families) are part of the Social Centre, 15 children and adolescents, victims of sexual abuse attend the service “ Centre of Family Reinsertion for sexual abuse victims” (Cerefa) and 1.311 children (corresponding to 943 families) in Communitarian  Centres.

El Alto

Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

The SOS Social Centre aims to offer support and counselling to around 260 people, mostly women with small children, with an emphasis on supporting single mothers in their daily struggle for survival through counselling and further vocational training and, in doing so, preventing them from being forced to abandoning their children. As a result of the opportunity to take their children to be looked after at the SOS Day Care Centre, mothers are able to go to work and earn money for the family. Furthermore, the SOS Social Centre aims to provide basic medical care. The SOS Social Centre is made up of two sick-rooms, a doctor's surgery, a dentist's surgery, a small dispensary, a classroom for children, a classroom for adult education, a refectory, a kitchen with a pantry, washrooms, toilets, offices and the care-taker's flat.

Work and achievements:

The covering of the Family and Community Strengthening Program of El Alto is of 1,690 children and 1,403 families in 40 Community Centres according to a covenant signed with the Municipal Government of El Alto City, which has 8 municipal districts. This year, this covenant was renewed for other 5 years.

We also had courses and workshops on topics such as self-esteem, rights focus, infantile self-esteem, sexual and reproductive health, assistance to children, family planning, intra-family violence, the roles and functions of leaders, papanicolau exams and labor formation (pastry, making of ‘polleras’ (typical skirts), cloth painting, knitting and macramé) in order to strengthen the empowerment process of the families and single mothers with children in risk situations. Therefore, they learnt about positive and right treatment rules to raise their children.

Tarija

Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

An SOS Social Centre complements the SOS Children's Village's infrastructure. Construction work the social centre in "Defensores del Chaco", a borough on the outskirts of Tarija started in 1993 and it was opened on the 17 April 1996. The social centre's work involves nutrition, health and child development, family development, supporting women, organization and integration into the community, and also educational and vocational development for mothers. In addition, the SOS Social Centre has a day-care centre where up to 220 children are provided with three daily meals. There is a paediatric surgery and dental surgery, a small pharmacy and a room for in-patients. The day-care centre is run according to Montessori principles.

Santa Cruz

Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

The SOS Social Centre was opened in 1999, and consists of a small day-care centre and health-care centre. Five group rooms for the supervision of pre-school children, three rooms for children, and treatment rooms with corresponding adjoining rooms are available to the local population and therefore make an important contribution towards an improvement in the living conditions of the less fortunate classes. The day-care centre is particularly valuable for single mothers from the area as it enables them to earn or at least contribute towards earning a living for the family, safe in the knowledge that their children are being cared for by trained supervisors.

Sucre

Description of SOS Social Centre/FSP:

The SOS Social Centre consists of a small day-care and health-care centre. Five group rooms for the supervision of preschool children, three treatment rooms with corresponding adjoining rooms and a seminar room for further education are available to the local population and therefore make an important contribution towards improving the living conditions of the less fortunate classes.

The day-care centre is particularly valuable to single mothers from the area as it enables them to earn or at least contribute towards earning money for the family, safe in the knowledge that their children are being cared for by trained supervisors. Information events are held on health, balanced diets and other health issues. Supporting women is also a central concern. Further vocational training in a range of manual work is available for women, so as to improve single mothers' qualifications and therefore increase their income and improve their societal status.

 

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SOS Children’s Villages provide a warm, safe environment for happy children to grow up in.