Bolivia

45%

of the population live under the absolute poverty line of £1.45 a day

850,000

child-labourers in Bolivia

8th

most vulnerable country to climate change

90%

of women experience violence of some kind

About Bolivia

Though rich in mineral and energy resources, Bolivia is one of South America's poorest countries. Wealthy urban elites have traditionally dominated political and economic life, while most Bolivians are low-income subsistence farmers, miners, small traders or artisans.

Inequality and poverty strongly affects indigenous people groups, who comprise almost 60% of the population. Indigenous communities are less likely to have access to education, health, and water for household or livelihood use.

Indigenous women and children are particularly vulnerable, with women at risk of maternal or infant mortality. Around 50 per cent of women from many different circumstances have admitted to being subject to physical abuse or intimidation. According to Unicef and the International Labour Organisation more than half of Bolivia’s children are employed or forced into work, often in dangerous conditions. These children are also at risk of trafficking for sexual exploitation, domestic work and mining.

How we do it

Church & Community Transformation

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Vulnerable People

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Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

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Disaster Risk Reduction

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Our Work in Bolivia

Tearfund is working in some of the poorest communities in the country, including indigenous people in rural communities and poor urban migrants. Our work is focused on the following projects:

  • Reducing inequality and societal exclusion of indigenous groups.
  • Reducing vulnerability to climate change and disasters.
  • Mobilising churches to reduce violence in their communities.
  • Protecting children and youth at risk.
  • Improving family livelihoods.

All of this work is made possible by the process of Church and Community Transformation: mobilising churches to unlock their communities’ God-given power and potential, in turn creating flourishing and resilient communities. Churches have been working with their communities and local authorities to bring resources like water, sanitation, electricity and income-generation projects.

Tearfund are tackling the high rates of child labour and human trafficking, supporting and protecting children and adolescents at risk.

With our partners, we are working with churches and schools in poor communities in Cochabamba and Santa Cruz. Our partners are training fathers and teachers in how to prevent school dropout, improve the quality of education and train teenagers in crucial life-skills.

We are also supporting women in communities which have destructive gender attitudes, high levels of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and higher levels of material deprivation. Our partner organisation UCE is developing a project with 50 churches, training pastors and church leaders to teach people in their communities about healthy relationships within the home. Another partner, OESER is reaching more than 17,000 teenagers with training about healthy gender relationship.

We are raising awareness and improving laws to protect women and children from domestic and urban violence, while taking care of sexually abused girls, providing spiritual and psychological support as well as a safe refuge.

Finally, Tearfund also supports local churches in how to respond and adapt to climate change – particularly in in rural areas which are highly vulnerable to flood, drought, landslide, environmental degradation, and erratic rainfall.

OUR PARTNERS IN BOLIVIA: UCE, OESER, MOSOJ YAN (‘NEW LIFE’) & RED VIVA BOLIVIA

ACHIEVEMENTS

9

communities learned how to address the impact of climate change on their agriculture.

165

families increased their income by learning ways to improve their livelihoods.

49

churches and 37 Christian organisations mobilised to reduce domestic violence and violence against women.

20

girls found restoration and new life after sexual attacks.

Pray for our work

  • Please give thanks for the role of the church in supporting and empowering communities to break cycles of poverty; ask God for the Church in Bolivia to be envisioned to bring positive transformation to their communities.
  • Please pray that vulnerable children across Bolivia would be protected from child labour, and have the opportunity to gain qualifications and escape a life of poverty.
  • Pray that we would be able to reduce communities’ vulnerability to climate change, so that they can thrive in the midst of the El Nino climate phenomena.
  • Please pray that through our programmes, women who have suffered from gender-based violence would find full healing and experience the transformative love of God.

Where we're working