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Volunteer Care work with children overseas in Bolivia

Care in Bolivia

You can gain work experience on a volunteer care project in Bolivia whatever your age, abilities or level of experience; whether you are on a gap year - or even a 'gap month' - from further education, or are coming to us during a holiday from work, a career break, or during your retirement. All we ask is that you have enthusiasm for and a commitment to the work, the staff team and, of course, the children!

You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Bolivia Care Management Plan.

Bolivia is one of the poorest and least developed countries in Latin America. Orphanages and other similar establishments lack the funds required to provide more than a basic level of care, which is why Projects Abroad volunteers have such an important role to play.

Voluntary Community Development work with Projects Abroad

Care in Bolivia - Children Playing

Projects Abroad volunteers work in several day care centres in Bolivia, all in the Cochabamba area. These placements care for people of all ages with a variety of different needs, from toddlers to elderly people in a care home. Many of our Care placements work with children who have mental and physical disabilities and therefore are in need of support, care and stimulation. In addition, we work in areas where children have been abandoned or have lost both their parents and need help to get the best start in life. Many of our Care placements have very unique needs and if you have any specific skills or talents then it is really important to let us know.

We have started working with a centre for young girls who have been abused and who are keen to learn different extra-curricular activities to help them on their journey to recovery. So if you are a good dancer, yoga fanatic, or have other artistic talents please let us know.

If you keep us informed about your preferences then we can match you to a suitable placement. Please note that your involvement in specific care activities can be dependent on your level of Spanish, so please inform our local staff so they can find the most worthwhile and suitable placement for you as an individual.

The Projects Abroad team in Bolivia organise regular workshops for care volunteers. The workshops will provide you with a valuable insight into the care system in Bolivia and the background of the placement where you’re working. You will also receive advice and suggestions regarding how to achieve the specific goals we aim to achieve at each placement.

Volunteers often work in pairs at a Care placement, which means you can share ideas, introduce more structure, come up with educational activities and monitor the children and young adults that you are working with. Our staff in Bolivia can assist you with any materials you may need, and a member of staff at your placement will act as your general supervisor and be available for help and advice.

Volunteering abroad on a Care Project in Bolivia

Care in Bolivia - Children on a Playground

In whichever volunteer Care Project in Bolivia you find yourself, you need to be ready for a challenge. Many of the children are not used to having a routine and look forward to having planned activities, educational games, and help with their homework and daily chores. At some placements there are children who have psychological or physical health problems and who need a great deal of special attention and help with their day to day activities.

Your main areas of work will vary depending on the age of the children and the centre you are working in. You may be feeding, bathing and generally looking after babies and toddlers, or you may be helping with homework, music, art and sports - really anything you are interested in. We encourage volunteers to try new activities and expand the range of games and ideas the children will encounter. Working closely with individual children and identifying their areas of strength is a very important part of your placement. On many placements, you’ll also need to promote awareness and teach life skills like the importance of hygiene, self-discipline and good communication.

Some children don't go to school so general educational activities - in Spanish - are also welcomed. Let us know beforehand if you can help in this area.

At some of the care homes there is also a need for help with building and fixing up garden areas, buildings and playgrounds. Volunteers have been getting together regularly to work on such community projects, painting walls, creating a garden or helping with clearing up and rebuilding.

You can join a Care project in Bolivia for two or three weeks if you don't have time to join us for four weeks or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period. Volunteers joining the project for just two weeks will be put in one of our partner placements.

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