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Educating the Next Generation of Healthcare Providers in Bolivia

Here in Bolivia, we’re very grateful for what we learn and what we can teach to others. One of the most effective ways to elevate this Bolivia’s quality of life is to equip the next generation of healthcare providers with knowledge and best practices.

Today we enjoyed a presentation by Dr. Don Ellis: Duke Pediatric Emergency Medicine. This is Dr. Ellis’ second teaching visit to Bolivia. (He’s the gentleman on the back left with the great beard.) 

Don and I are working to develop a permanent rotation of interested faculty, residents and students from Duke Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine who want to join us in Bolivia to educate and train.

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Today’s teaching topic was splinting: 

The “unfortunate” victim with both of his arms splinted is Don Esry, who came to volunteer and serve. Don is from Jacksonville, Florida.  I have known Don for 34 years (just a few short years ago), we were both a part of the campus ministry at Florida State University. 

Don, who has never traveled overseas, took a leap of faith and got a passport, visa, and immunizations so that he could see what God is doing in Bolivia. He chose to volunteer to serve the poor – at 57 years old. We are so proud of his willingness to “get out of the boat” and to help, heal, teach, and preach (a vision we have for many empty nesters in the USA)!!

The attached photos are a great representation of what God is doing in Bolivia – in health and in social programs. 

Love from Bolivia,

Kevin Broyles

All Hail, The First Graduating Class

By Dusty Massengill

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The HOPE Bolivia Team at the tiny office in Hospital Arco Iris

Kevin and Gwen and the rest of the HOPE team had been working out of Hospital Arco Iris for a few years…

They all shared a shoebox office on the top floor, educating healthcare professionals and caring for those in need who lined the halls every day. The team also dreamed of opening up their own clinic, whose profits would be used to support medical needs of the poor.

During all that time at Arco Iris they interacted with the desperate poor, many of whom were orphans and vulnerable children.

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Kevin and Gwen with two applicants to the Nursing Assistant Program

 

Out of their love and concern, Kevin and Gwen developed a Nursing Assistant Program: a way for at-risk young people to have a chance.

Most people in America don’t know what desperate poverty looks like. Of course, many people in the States have critical needs, but the poorest of the earth are vulnerable in deeper ways. Even what they have can be taken from them. 

Laws and policy, at least to some degree, protect the vulnerable poor in the United States. Programs exist. In the developing world, the chance of failure for the at-risk poor is almost guaranteed.

With this in mind, the team put their heads together and made a plan.

Gwen wrote a grant proposal to Project Redwood, a group out of Stanford led by David Blenko, a former administrator and long-time supporter of HOPE worldwide. David and his team loved the idea of starting a Nursing Assistant Program, the first of its kind in Bolivia. They offered their support immediately.

The HOPE team collaborated with Arco Iris, identified students, and set out to see what would happen…

Five students started the 6-month pilot program and two finished. Gwen, Kevin, social workers, and friends gave their hearts, knowledge, and time, and they did so in great abundance.

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Tifani and Tatiana during their class work

 

Was it worth it the effort? Did the program succeed? Will it continue? Three students washed out, against the tireless efforts of some of the best in the business. The benefits and costs of continuing the program are currently being weighed.

I would argue the program experienced great success, and in very measurable ways. Two made it through…out of the inaugural class, I might add. Two at-risk young women, alone in the world and abandoned, have seen their lives completely transformed.

They can now make a living in a world that didn’t care before if they lived or died. These women matter now, they have a place, they have a future, and it’s a bright one.

Tifani, the first graduate, comes from a family, though she grew up at extreme risk, perhaps more than most orphans. She has known a lifetime of criminal abuse, negligence, and exposure. She is a single mother, cares for her 2 children as well as her younger brothers and sisters.

A few years back when Tifani was receiving treatment at Hospital Arco Iris, Gwen took an interest, helped her and her family, and offered her a chance to start the program.

Tifani now works on staff at that very hospital: Arco Iris.

The second graduate, Tatiana, is an orphan. She grew up in the Arco Iris Home for Girls. Education was never really possible for Tatiana due to learning disabilities. Still she applied and was accepted. Though more difficult for her academically than anyone else, she stuck with it. Not everybody made it through, but she did.

Today, Tatiana has a family of her own and works on staff at the CMI HOPE Clinic.

Kevin, Gwen, and the rest of the team came here at great personal sacrifice with a desire to help those in need. They combined experience, faith, and action and the Nursing Assistant Program was born. Now with measurable results, who knows what stories could surface from a 2nd graduating class.

Please take a moment to enjoy our new video!

Please take a moment to enjoy our new video for a quick update about all that is happening here in La Paz with HOPE worldwide Bolivia!

VIDEO: HOPE Worldwide Bolivia 2016 Update

The HOPE Clinic shines brightly as it continues to provide excellent healthcare to the community!

Our first Nursing Assistant students have graduated and are now working in their new jobs!

And our social program initiatives are growing and expanding!

We are so grateful for all of our generous donors, supporters, and volunteers who are truly bringing hope and changing the lives of impoverished children and families here in Bolivia. You are leaving footprints of love in the hearts of so many.

Please come visit and serve with us soon!

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“Use Whatever Gift You Have To Serve Others…” (The Bible)

Simona Neogoe lives this verse out in her everyday life.

Simona was born and raised in Romania. She grew up understanding firsthand the many challenges and hardships that poverty can bring upon families. And she has a heart to give back to others.

She moved to La Paz a year ago with her husband, who works within the Brazilian Embassy. Soon after she arrived, she saw the various needs within the poor population of the city and wanted to use her talents, skills, and experiences to serve in any way. She quickly contacted HOPE worldwide Bolivia to offer her time and talents.

Over the past few months, she has devoted well over 120 hours of her time in order to help within a variety of initiatives that support poor and vulnerable children and families.  She has created and organized a numerical system and database for the HOPE Library, which lends books to children within community centers and Hospital Arco Iris. She regularly reads and offers play support to children within the hospital. She has tirelessly organized food, clothing, and gifts for families during the holiday months. She visits families, daycares, and orphanages to encourage and inspire children of all ages. She is always thinking and planning about how to enlist the support of other women within La Paz to help the poor.

Simona never looks for praise from others. She simply wants to use whatever skills and experiences she possesses to make a difference wherever she is living.

Because of volunteers like Simona, there are many more children and families within La Paz who are wearing bigger smiles that come from encouraged hearts. Perhaps they can now face their challenges with a bit more self-esteem and confidence…knowing that someone believes they are valuable.

Thank you, Simona🙂

We Are Hiring Medical Professionals!

HOPE worldwide Bolivia is looking to hire medical providers for our state of the art clinic (CMI HOPE) in La Paz.

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The CMI HOPE clinic provides primary care with an emphasis on teaching and evidence based medicine.  This medical center serves as a part of a sustainable social enterprise.  The profits from the clinic are used to support projects serving the poor within our community.

We are looking for primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurses.

We are asking for a minimum one year commitment for paid positions; however, short term volunteer opportunities are available.  This is an excellent opportunity to practice and implement evidence based medicine in a developing country.  Training in leadership development and teaching will be provided. Spanish fluency is not required in this bilingual setting. Competitive benefits and compensation packages are available.

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Additionally, there are many opportunities to serve the poor within our community, as well as to explore the natural beauty of Bolivia and South America.

If you are interested in this opportunity please contact:  Kevin Broyles, Medical Director, Centro Medico Internacional HOPE.  Phone: (591) (2) 2772118.
Email: kevin.broyles@cmihope.com.

Christmas in Bolivia

“People Living in Darkness Have Seen a Great Light”

Abandoned, lonely, rejected, confused, fearful, orphaned, hungry, cold, hopeless…

Some or all of these words describe the realities and feelings of thousands of children, single parents, and vulnerable families living in extreme poverty in La Paz, Bolivia.
It’s a dark world for them.
Yet there is also light, love and hope.
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light…those living in the land of shadows now have a light shining upon them. You have given them great joy, Lord….You have made them happy.” (Isaiah 9). 
Throughout the year and especially at Christmas time, volunteers from HOPE worldwide Bolivia, the La Paz Church of Christ, the American Calvert School, and community friends join together to encourage and bring hope to the poorest of the poor in La Paz. This year, dozens of volunteers collectively donated hundreds of hours in order to collect and organize tons of food, clothes and toys for hundreds of the most needy individuals.
Last friday we created an afternoon filled with encouragement, hugs, fun, friendship, and singing for 30 of the poorest families (about 225 people) within Foundation Arco Iris’ Family Support Program. Each family received generous quantities of food, clothing, and toys.
On Saturday morning, volunteers prepared and provided breakfast for over 700 homeless adults and children who spend the cold nights in the downtown shelter at the Bus Terminal or who live on the streets. Many also received blankets, clothing, and toys.
And of course, all of these hurting individuals received lots of genuine love, encouragement, and hope. 
The HOPE worldwide Bolivia team is so grateful for all of our friends in La Paz and around the world who help us to “bring good news to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to comfort those who are mourn, and to bestow upon them a crown of beauty and praise…” (Isaiah 61)
Together, we shine out God’s light, love, and hope for those living in the darkness of poverty.
“…if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.”
Indeed, it’s beginning to look (and feel) a lot like Christmas here in La Paz!

A Dream Realized :: The HOPE International Medical Center Opens for Business in Bolivia!

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We are incredibly excited to announce that CMI HOPE has officially opened it’s doors for business here in La Paz, Bolivia!  The International Medical Center provides high quality medical care in the city of La Paz.  It is a sustainable social enterprise, which means that the proceeds from the clinic will go towards supporting health services and social programs run by HOPE worldwide Bolivia and our partnership with Foundation Arco Iris.  These services and programs are focused on meeting the needs of some of the poorest and most vulnerable children and families in La Paz.

We welcomed many of our donors and visitors who came from all over the world on Friday night with a special dinner to honor and thank them.

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Kevin and Noelle Broyles (HOPE worldwide Bolivia) with HOPE worldwide’s CEO, Robert Carrillo, and HOPE worldwide’s Chief Development Officer, Russ Hargrove.

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Some of the Texas donors pose for a photo with Director Kevin Broyles and Genoveva and her son Mario, who received help from HOPE worldwide Bolivia.

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Children from Foundation Arco Iris performed a traditional Bolivian dance for all of the guests.

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Father José (President of Foundation Arco Iris) with Gary Jacques (VP of Health and Social Services at HOPE worldwide)

Saturday morning, we celebrated the official grand opening of the clinic.  We had over 180 people attend the ceremony including Dr. Ramiro Narvaez (General Director of Hospital Arco Iris), Father José (President of Foundation Arco Iris), Chargé Peter Brennan and his wife, Lizanne, with the US Embassy, Morayma Bak (President of Arco Iris America), Kevin Martinez (vice mayor of Zona Sur) with the Zebras, Dr. Elma Simon (Director of Lab Clinics) and many others.   
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Saturday afternoon many of our donors and visitors went on an action packed tour of the wonderful city of La Paz.

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Valle de La Luna

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Jim Lenahen and Alex Hunter getting a photo with a Cholita (woman in traditional Bolivian dress)

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Tom Gurrentz poses with the spectacular scenery at the valle de la luna.

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Jim Lenahen, Vanessa Embling and Larry Wood pose for a picture in El Alto with the city of La Paz in the background.

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One of the coolest things to do in La Paz, the Teleferico, the subway in the sky!

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Historical Jaen Street, one of the oldest streets in La Paz.

Sunday morning all of the donors and visitors split up into groups and were able to make home visits with several families who are receiving help and assistance from HOPE worldwide Bolivia and Foundation Arco Iris.  The volunteers spent time serving the families.

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Robert Carrillo with 5 year old Ivon who has celiac disease and has been in and out of the hospital recently.

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Some of the HOPE volunteers with Señora Flora and her family.

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Señora Flora’s house where she has lived for twenty years. The house is falling apart and is in desperate need of repairs.

Once again, thank you for your support and sacrifice.  Because of you, we are able to continue to bring hope and change lives here in Bolivia!