It is estimated that in Bolivia there are approximately 800,000 children living in the streets: boys, girls, and teenagers who have partially or totally broken with their family ties and who live – in the absolute sense of the word – in the streets. The Alalay Foundation, a Bolivian charity has been working with this marginalized group of children for the past 20 years.
Alalay runs a number of “halfway” houses in urban areas and a community home outside of La Paz. They have a four stage process for getting kids off the street, into their homes, into school and then as well adjusted and well educated adults integrated back into Bolivian society.
Our project focuses on getting the children in Alalay’s programs into school and assuring their academic success by providing two teachers who specialize in working with at-risk children. The teachers, known as “educators” due to their additional training, assist the children through innovative methodologies in mathematics, communications, and life skills as well as school tutoring, monitoring the academic progress of each child individually, personal and social skills workshops, and monthly progress reports. In addition, Alma provides the uniforms and necessary academic materials required by the schools.
Currently, we are working with 76 boys and 45 girls ranging in age from 6 to 14 years old. 16 of the children have very recently come off the streets, 73 of the children have passed through the adjustment period and live in Alalay’s community home just outside of La Paz and 32 of the children have already advanced through most of Alalay’s programs but are struggling in secondary school. We have been supporting Alalay since 2013.