About Bolivia

  • Over 30% of the 12 million Bolivians live below the poverty line, which makes Bolivia the poorest country in South America.
  • Covering a surface area of 1,098,581 km², the country is almost 30 times the size of Switzerland. The topography of this landlocked country includes a great variety of terrain and climates.
  • The highland region is arid and livestock has to wander far to get enough food. Quinoa, barley, potatoes and broad beans are grown in small fields. Access to information to improve production is limited.
  • Many children cannot access quality education. Due to a lack of hygiene habits and inadequate sanitary facilities, dangerous germs and parasites take hold and make people and animals ill.
  • Climate change is causing increasingly extreme weather events, which further threaten the habitat of the local people.
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Around 16% of Bolivian children suffer from chronic malnutrition
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Only half of the Bolivian population have access to safe drinking water
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Only 1.6 doctors in average for 1,000 people, fewer in rural areas

Suyana in Bolivia

  • We started working in Bolivia in 2006 and
    our  Programme Healthy Municipality has been running since 2007. In 2020, our integral programme was replaced by an emergency plan due to the pandemic.
  • Most of the places where we work are at around 3’500 m.a.s.l., where the land is arid and the climate is harsh.
  • There is no regular public transport service to the communities and basic health services are scarce. The people live in extreme poverty.
  • From 2021 – 2023 we will be working in the departament of La Paz in the poorest communities of the following municipalities: Ayata, Chuma, Mocomoco, Cairoma, Malla, Sapahaqui, Yaco, Licoma and San Pedro de Curahuara.
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  • Our 9 operational teams consist of a doctor, a dentist a medical assistant and an agronomist who live and work in the communities. Team members are Bolivian and speak the local language.
  • Our 9 mobile units equipped with a dental surgery are 4×4 vehicles and can travel travel on the worst road conditions.
  • Our activities follow our Programme Healthy Municipality three-year plan, promote healthy living and have an impact on what the people we work with think and do.
  • We encourage children, their families and schools to take the initiative.
  • We cooperate with the beneficiaries and authorities – ministries, local, regional and governmental institutions, and local leaders.

Our Focus in Bolivia

Health

  • Thanks to our teams, locals have access to basic medical and dental care and can visit a doctor and a dentist at least once a year. The latter is important as 95% of the rural population have cavities.
  • Our prevention work includes raising the awareness of families, teachers and students of how to look after their health. As a result they practice healthy habits which helps to reach goals such as “zero cavities” and reduce child malourishment.
  • The public healthcare system is strengthened through training sessions and equipment, and more patients can be seen, and are always treated with dignity and respect. Supporting public health entities is crucial as only a few have a dental surgery.

Education

  • In cooperation with local authorities, parents, teachers and children, we upgrade school infrastructure: kitchen and school dining areas, toilets and wash corners, to improve the quality of education and nutrition.
  • All too often the school meal is the only healthy meal children eat each day so we help schools to improve nutrition by setting up greenhouses and/or raising poultry or other small animals.
  • We organise vocational training courses for secondary school students to boost their skills and capacities. This gives young people better prospects for the future and reduces migration to urban areas.
  • All educational materials used are developed by us and support theoretical and practical training.

Livelihood

  • We encourage and coach families to create healthy homes.
  • We provide technical support at each step of the production chain: improve livestock, diversify agricultural production, process and sell products. The families and cooperatives learn what they can do to improve their income sustainably.
  • We train family members to become auxiliary vets and farming experts.
  • We hold training sessions and communities do clean-up campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of preserving the environment and conserving non-renewable resources.
  • To ensure sustainable access to water we support setting up government-accredited water committees.

Partners in Bolivia

We work side-by-side with the municipal governments, regional, local and community authorities, public schools and health facilities as well as families to implement our Programme Healthy Municipality

AAPS (Partner in Environment)

Dirección Departamental de Educación (Partner in Education)
Gobierno Autónomo Departamental de La Paz (Partner in Livelihood)

Hospital del Niño
(Partner in Medicine)

Programa Nacional de Salud Oral (Partner in Dentistry)

SEDES La Paz
(Partner in Dentistry and Medicine)

Instituto SELADIS
(Partner in Medicine)

Areas of Intervention

Ayata
Cairoma
Chuma
Licoma
Malla
Mocomoco
Sapahaqui
San Pedro de Curahuara
Yaco
Aucapata
Ayo Ayo
Chacarilla
Charazani
Combaya
Mecapaca
Papel Pampa
Sorata

Projects in Bolivia

Together we make it happen

Keep up to date with our exciting activities