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When we were kids (most of us, anyway), we had the basic things we needed for school. Here in Bolivia, the kids often don’t. In rural areas, the schools are under-supplied, under-staffed, and under-funded. For example, many, if not most public schools in the USA have some kind of program so the kids get a nourishing breakfast or snack or lunch if they are too poor to have it at home. Hopefully, this will continue.

A few years ago in the school district of Mocomoco, there wasn’t such a program, so Diego and Flora, with the help of a foundation in Spain, started one. Meanwhile, they consistently leaned on the local government. Two years ago, the local government contributed two days a week, and the parish three. And Diego and Flora kept pushing. This year, the alcaldia provides the whole week’s nourishing breakfast and we’ve switched to school materials. You see, the kids didn’t have notebooks and pens and paper and crayons, etc. Now they do. Just the other day, Flora and Roberto we’re organizing things for the children from Queñi. And we’ll keep pushing to change the system.

Often, we’re asked to be padrinos for the graduating class of a high school. We used to give the graduates presents (that’s probably why they asked us). Now, we give them small presents, and collaborate with the parents’ association, the teachers and the graduating class to give a gift to the school in the name of the graduating class — like a small research library, or audio-visual materials, or a new computer. Everyone seems happy, and the graduates feel proud to contribute to the education of the students who are following in their footsteps. Education is a gift that really can empower young people. Don’t forget to donate….constantly 🙂

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2 thoughts on “Having What You Need

  1. Amanda

    I remember the meal program the alcadia of Cochabamba did (the orphanage was always given the leftovers – they were some yummy snacks!) – what a WONDERFUL idea to do it for school supplies as well. I taught in a school in Cochabamba and it was amazing how many kids didnt even have pencils. Thank you for raising awareness of the situation and keep up the wonderful work! Saint Vincent would be proud!

  2. Bob Wilson

    Way to go Father A. Keep up the good work

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