Since 1975, Compassion has partnered with local churches in Bolivia to lift children out of poverty in Jesus’ name. Today, more than 94,000 children are benefiting from Compassion’s support and care at 221 child development centers across the country. Every one of these children receives the nutrition, access to health care and educational support they need to beat poverty and grow into fulfilled, self-sufficient adults.
Child labor is an accepted part of life in some indigenous Bolivian cultures, and the government permits children as young as 10 years old to be self-employed under certain circumstances. More than 350,000 children are engaged in child labor, mostly in the agricultural sector but also in dangerous occupations such as mining and heavy construction. If adolescents are included in Bolivian child labor, the number rises to an estimated 616,000.
Nearly three-quarters of rural families have no access to an improved sanitation facility, and one in four does not have a reliable source of safe drinking water. This results in widespread waterborne illnesses, such as bacterial diarrhea and hepatitis A. Malaria and other mosquito-borne illnesses also pose a serious threat to children’s health.
Chronic malnutrition affects 18% of children under 5, often stunting their growth and causing irreversible damage. These children face many developmental challenges, not least a reduced ability to concentrate in school. To help address this problem, Compassion-registered children receive two nutritious snacks and a balanced meal on the days they attend their local child development center.
Compassion is striving to create the conditions in which every child in Bolivia benefits from a good education, in which every child has enough to eat, and in which every child has access to safe water and adequate sanitation. Our child development centers provide an essential base for these efforts. They are staffed by workers who are dedicated to improving children’s lives in Jesus’ name and to reaching out to those most in need.
Infants, children and adolescents all benefit from Compassion’s ministry efforts, in partnership with local churches, throughout Bolivia.
Thanks to you, a church plant and Child Development Center will change daily living conditions for these impoverished people and will bless the children, their families and this community overall.
- More than 4 million people are living in poverty in Bolivia (nearly 40% of the population).
- 20 percent of children between the ages of 7 and 14 are engaged in child labor.
- Unemployment stands at around 3.1%, and underemployment is widespread.
- Just 35% of children progress to secondary school.
- 52% of children under 5 are anemic.
Sources: UN World Food Programme; US Department of Labor; The World Factbook; UNICEF; WHO.