The location: Oruro, Bolivia
The Programa Renovación Madre Niño (Renovación for short, translates to Renewal) is located in Oruro, capital of the state of the same name in the heart of Bolivia – and South America.
Oruro is located at an altitude of 3700 metres in the heart of the Andean highlands, three hours by car from the seat of government, La Paz. Of the approximately 270,000 people living in Oruro, the majority belong to the indigenous Quechua and Aymara peoples.
Most of the families our partner organisation supports live in the outlying urban areas. Many of them are inland migrants from rural provinces of the region. While many of the mothers work as vendors or cooks at various markets in the city, a majority of the fathers are employed as bus and taxi drivers, as construction workers or in one of the remaining mines.
The city is not only known for its carnival, which is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but also for the Virgen del Socavón, Oruro’s patron saint, who overlooks the city. The figure of the Virgin is the largest statue in South America, surpassing even the Cristo Redentor in Rio de Janeiro.
The Work of Renovación
Renovación has existed for over 20 years and works for social inclusion and sustainable development of children, youth and families in precarious situations. In partnership with other local organisations, Renovación strives for social justice, equality, freedom from discrimination and the reduction of poverty. Currently, Renovación supports 1900 families with a total of 2135 children and adolescents. Through wide-ranging activities in the field of child, youth and family development, education and health, the organisation contributes to improving the quality of life of children, youth and their families.
The work with the children and young people is divided into three age groups (“areas”):
1st Area: Early Childhood Development (0-5 years)
For the youngest children, Maria René Valencia runs a day-care centre where the children are looked after in alternating small groups in the mornings and afternoons. Cognitive, socio-emotional and fine motor skills are specifically fostered through playful learning by means of arts and crafts and physical activity units, puzzles and ball games.
2nd Area: Child Development (6-12 years)
Franco Flores (also the coordinator of the entire organization) is responsible for the intermediate age group.
A main focus in this group is the support of the childrens education by helping with homework. Furthermore the
children are educated about their rights in artistic and playful ways.
3rd Area: Youth Development (13-24 years).
The oldest group is led by Osmar Ramirez and aims to encourage young people to actively participate in the shaping of their community. In addition to tutoring in various school subjects (among others mathematics, physics and chemistry),this area sets a focus on workshops on sex education, the prevention of violence and drug abuse, personal development, physical and emotional well-being, political participation and environmental responsibility.