Joining hands to encourage others at Christmas time

It was a busy December for us here in La Paz, Bolivia!  HOPE worldwide Bolivia partnered with Foundation Arco Iris, the La Paz Church of Christ and other individuals in the community to collect food and clothing donations and we were able to provide a very special Christmas to 40 of the city’s neediest families.

Thank you for supporting HOPE worldwide Bolivia, together we are changing lives.  If you would like to make a donation please click here.  If you are interested in getting more information on our programs here or are interested in volunteering, please click here to send us an email request.

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The HOPE worldwide team gathered up the donations and loaded them onto the trucks (Santa’s Sleigh) to be delivered to Casa de Paso.

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Brie Broyles plays with some of the kids at Casa de Paso and helps them to put together a puzzle.

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Many volunteers came out to play games with the kids and encourage them.

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There were so many smiles and laughs shared during our time together.

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The parents and children had so much fun playing games with the volunteers.

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The families were so grateful to receive their gift baskets filled with much needed food, clothes and toys.

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Thank you to all the volunteers and everyone who donated to make this encouraging event possible!

 

Building a Better Future by Learning English

English is often referred to as the global language, the language that links the world together. The majority of medical literature, and over 50% of the content on the Internet is written in English. Having the ability to communicate in English opens up a world of opportunities for economic growth, better job opportunities, increased salaries and advanced education.  However, for the majority of people living within developing countries, the ability to learn English remains an unattainable dream because English classes are expensive and time consuming.

Desiring to provide opportunities to those who might not otherwise have them, HOPE worldwide Bolivia began offering English as a second language (ESL) classes to the staff of Hospital Arco Iris in May 2014. It has been a huge success. Doctors, nurses, administrative staff, and various auxiliary employees are working together to learn English in a positive, supportive environment.  Not only are the students receiving English classes for a very minimal cost, the classes are also being held at the Hospital at ideal times for the staff which alleviates pressure on their schedules.

A great indicator for the success of the ESL program is how the learning environment is creating a sense of family within the hospital through genuine Encouragement, Support and Love. Some of the students with a more stable income are now paying for other students (employees) who can’t afford to take classes but have a deep desire to learn and improve their lives. One of the women receiving assistance is a single mom of two who is supporting a child with a severe disability. Another is a single mom with three small children who currently living in a church shelter while working at the hospital.

HOPE worldwide Bolivia will also begin to offer ESL classes within the community next month and is exploring other opportunities to teach English to the city’s most vulnerable population. Indeed this is one of the ways to help break the chains of poverty by providing Educational opportunities while enhancing Self-esteem and building Life skills.

Thank you for supporting HOPE worldwide Bolivia and our programs in La Paz.  Your generosity is changing lives, one by one, and providing a brighter future for so many.  If you would like more information about HOPE worldwide Bolivia, our programs, or if you are interested in volunteering with us in Bolivia, please click HERE.

If you would like to make a donation to HOPE worldwide Bolivia, please click HERE.

The first group of ESL students completed Level 1 in August.

The first group of ESL students completed their 1st Trimester in August.

One of the ESL classes in session.  The students come from a variety of professions and backgrounds - from doctors and nurses to the cleaning staff - but they become like family.

One of the ESL classes in session. The students come from a variety of professions and backgrounds – from doctors and nurses to the cleaning staff – but they become like family.

ESL students working hard and enjoying class.

ESL students working hard and enjoying class.

ESL students working hard and enjoying class.

ESL students working hard and enjoying class.

Teacher Noelle working with two ESL students.

Teacher, Noelle, working with two ESL students.

Going over homework - practice makes perfect!

Going over homework – practice makes perfect!

HOPE worldwide Bolivia Celebrates 3 years!

HOPE worldwide was planted in La Paz, Bolivia 3 years ago in September of 2011.  With God, we have accomplished so much and are excited about the plans for the future!  Click HERE to view/download the full 2014 Progress Report.

The purpose of HOPE worldwide Bolivia is to support the excellent and comprehensive charitable work of Foundation and Hospital Arco Iris and to develop additional charitable initiatives.  This support is focused in two different areas: Health and Social Services.

In health, the focus has been around developing the income generating aspect of a sustainable social enterprise (an ambulatory clinic / (Spanish = consultorio), performance improvement within the hospital including initiatives in patient safety, quality improvement, leadership development, cultural change, focus on patient-centered care, consultation and exploration of new initiatives including traditional medicine, integrative medicine, hospice, home health, pain management, leadership development, development of nursing and more.

In social services, the focus has been on the pediatric population of Hospital Arco Iris and vulnerable families. Raising awareness and funding for healthcare expenses of vulnerable children, creating and operating a part-time play and childhood development area within HAI, play therapy on the pediatric floor, creating and operating a children’s and adult library, help for vulnerable families each month and seasonally – clothing, food, holiday gifts, cleaning, organizing and education and development of an English as a Second Language course, and more.

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The HOPE worldwide Bolivia team consists of 10 people, including 2 full-time employees, 5 full-time consultants, 2 part-time consultants and 1 full-time volunteer.

Click the link below to view or download the full progress report.

**2014 Annual HOPE worldwide Progress Report**

If you would like to make a donation to support the work of HOPE worldwide Bolivia, please click HERE.

The American Embassy in La Paz – Powerful Partnerships

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.

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Chargé Peter Brennen speaks to the crowd.

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.

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Over 350 Lego sets and games were donated to at-risk youth in La Paz.

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Over 200 brand new books were donated to the HOPE worldwide Children’s library.

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.”

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Connecting needs with resources (from left to right) Dr. Kevin Broyles (Country Director for HOPE worldwide Bolivia), Lizanne Brennen, Chargé Peter Brennen (U.S. Ambassador), Dr. Romiro Narvaez (General Director of Hospital Arco Iris)

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Dr. Kevin Broyles addresses the crowd and thanks the U.S. Embassy for their generous donations.

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Chargé Peter Brennen and his wife, Lizanne, enjoying a fun moment with the kids from Casa Esperanza.

Story written by Phil Chamberlain, Community Liaison Office Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy in Bolivia

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If you would like to DONATE to HOPE worldwide Bolivia, please click HERE.  

Inspired By The Children In Bolivia

by Austin Wyatt

During the entire month of July, I had the opportunity to be a volunteer with HOPE worldwide Bolivia in La Paz.  This was my second visit to La Paz and, just like last year, it wasn’t long enough!

The majority of my time was spent volunteering at Hospital Arco Iris (HAI) within the Sala de Juegos (playroom) and it was so rewarding.  I taught the children how to share and be respectful of one another.  I saw how a person could change the world of a child just by saying “you are special” or “you are so smart”.  These phrases I often take for granted when someone says them to me.  However, for these kids they feel an abundance of love when they hear these words.  I’ve never seen such genuine smiles!

My favorite thing about my time in the hospital was hanging out with the young patients on the pediatric floor.  And without a doubt, my favorite patient was a young boy named Andres.

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Andrés and Austin in Hospital Arco Iris

Andres is a 13 year old Bolivian boy who has lived on the streets for most of his life.  Both of his parents died several years ago from alcoholism.  He has two younger brothers.  Andres has been in and out of shelters and orphanages as well as living on the streets.  Recently, he got involved with a gang and with drugs and alcohol.  He was hit by a car and nearly decapitated and was immediately rushed to Hospital Arco Iris.

Hearing his story was so touching and heart breaking, but also it also made me feel overwhelmingly grateful for my life.  Andres is only 13 years old and yet he has already experienced such pain, loss and hopelessness.  I asked myself, “Why not me?  Why am I not in his shoes?”  It blows my mind how my life has been so comfortable.

When I initially met Andres, I felt a little overwhelmed not knowing exactly what to say or do.   But I also remembered what my mission was here in Bolivia.  It was to love every child and person unconditionally, serving them and showing them an example of Jesus’ love.

Most of my time with Andres was spent getting to know him, playing the popular board game ‘Trouble’ and playing soccer within the hospital hallways.  Andres is so funny and is such a joy to be around.   I felt like he became the little brother I never had.  He brightened my day, and I brightened his.

Andrés with his favorite boardgame, Trouble

Andrés with his favorite boardgame, Trouble

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Andrés and Austin (HOPE worldwide volunteer) playing soccer in the hallways of the hospital.

Andrés and Noelle (HOPE worldwide volunteer) having fun with kleenex in their noses.

Andrés and Noelle (HOPE worldwide volunteer) having fun with kleenex in their noses.

It was a miracle to watch Andres change before my eyes during his hospital stay.  At the beginning, he was guarded and quiet.   He had no family to care for him.  He was also unable to speak because of his tracheostomy tube.  I can only imagine how frightened he must have been.  It was incredible to witness how the staff at HAI and the HOPE volunteers showered him with love.  By the end of my time in La Paz, he had warmed up to everyone around him.  He not only was playing games and soccer, but he was also serving by helping me pick up toys from the other pediatric rooms…and always with a smile.

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Andrés is always full of smiles and recently had his tracheostomy tube removed

Andres became such a blessing in my life.  I’m inspired by his example.  I now am asking myself, “How can I connect more with the people who are in my life…whether it be at work, school, or at church?”

After two months in the hospital (and an overwhelming hospital bill he will never be able to repay), Andres is recovering and getting stronger every day.  Last week his tracheostomy tube was removed and he is now talking to everyone!  He has recently decided that his purpose in life is to return to the orphanage to help care for his two younger brothers.  He also has dreams of becoming a doctor or an artist.

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Andrés loves to draw and color.

Andrés with Noelle and Bob the builder, learning English

Andrés with Noelle and Bob the builder, learning English

Bolivia is a country that is filled with so much beauty, whether it be from the gorgeous terrain that takes your breath away, or from the love you feel from the church or from the kids in the hospital.  Every day I woke up and felt like I had received a kiss from God.  There is no other place like La Paz.  It will always have a special place in my heart and prayers.  It will always be like a home to me.

A view of the city of La Paz from Killi Killi

A view of the city of La Paz from Killi Killi

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If you would like to DONATE to HOPE worldwide Bolivia or specifically to the Vulnerable Children’s Healthcare Fund that helps children like Andres, please click HERE.  

If you are interested in volunteering with HOPE worldwide Bolivia, click HERE for more information.

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Austin Wyatt is a twenty year old college student living in Atlanta, GA.

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