Casa de la Alegria was a bright pink home for 23 orphaned 8 to 15 year old girls about half an hour outside the city of Cochabamba.
Casa de la Alegria was run by a 28 year old Bolivian woman, herself an orphan. Four years earlier her adoptive “uncle”, who now lives in the United States, decided to fund an orphanage. A very basic house was constructed and his niece was put in charge.
When we first met in 2007, the 28 year old was the sole caretaker of 22 girls. She had no help: no cooks, no cleaners and no other caretakers, – just a dog as security guard. The meagre funds they received from the local church was far from enough. In order to survive the girls baked bread and made handicrafts which they sold every Saturday at the local market.
Witnessing the girls’ struggle to survive and trusting their hard working caretaker, Future4Children decided to step in.
What we did
What we first did was to support their daily necessities such as food and clothing. Then, in order to foster the education, creativity and life skills of the girls, we set up a computer lab, a library and bought some sewing machines.
However, as the buildings were in such poor conditions, we renovated the buildings adjacent to an existing orphanage nearby, and moved the entire orphanage there.
The results were quickly reflected in the girls, who now walked around with smiling faces and straight backs. Every girl improved academically and suddenly realized that education was something which to aspire.
Unfortunately, in 2014 the Bolivian government decided to close down all orphanages in the region and forbade funding by foreign organizations. However, Future4Children took an active part in the Casa de la Bienvenida, an in-between home for the girls until they could provide for themselves or finish their education.
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