On Monday, August 18th, the United States Embassy Chargé (Ambassador) Peter Brennan and his wife, Lizanne, were welcomed by a delegation of Hospital Arco Iris (HAI) staff, Foundation Arco Iris (FAI) representatives, FAI youth, and the HOPE worldwide Bolivia team at Hospital Arco Iris in La Paz. HOPE worldwide Bolivia is a program of HOPE worldwide, a non-profit, international relief and development organization founded in 1991. HOPE worldwide Bolivia and the Arco Iris Foundation have joined together to provide healthcare to the neediest people in El Alto and La Paz. Chargé Brennan announced the donation of two large 30 KW generators, over 350 Lego sets and games, a collection of over 200 brand new children’s books, and a large laboratory freezer to the hospital. This event was the culmination of significant donations from the Embassy during the past two years from the Health Unit and General Services Office.
Chargé Brennan stated that he “would like to praise the incredible accomplishments of Foundation Arco Iris, Hospital Arco Iris, and HOPE worldwide Bolivia for helping the under-resourced communities of El Alto and La Paz.” He recognized that these organizations provide housing, food, clothing, scholastic support and other health and social services for over 4000 orphans and serve the communities of the metropolitan area of La Paz with over 75,000 free medical consultations each year.
Several departments within the U.S. Embassy united together to support this initiative. The Community Liaison Office organized this event and donated the hundreds of Lego sets and games that will go to at-risk youth in La Paz. The Health Unit donated the large laboratory freezer that will be used to preserve medical specimens. The Public Affairs Section donated the collection of over 200 books. These books will become part of the HOPE worldwide Bolivia library within HAI, which will lend books to pediatric and adult patients as well as to the hospital staff. Excitingly, this library will be the first public children’s library in La Paz. The children’s books will be lent to trusted youth centers throughout the city. The Office of Security Cooperation provided the two large generators, valued at $14,000 dollars each. These generators will increase energy stability for the emergency equipment and keep the lights functioning in the hospital when the power goes out.
The United States Embassy is proud to support organizations that are making a difference in the lives of thousands of vulnerable children and adults. Chargé Brennan expressed that the efforts of Foundation Arco Iris, Hospital Arco Iris, and HOPE worldwide Bolivia “reflect and represent the very best in the volunteer community spirit … a spirit that solidifies and reinforces the bonds between our two countries.”
Story written by Phil Chamberlain, Community Liaison Office Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia