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Bolivia is not classified among the LDC-countries, but it is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. It is also very vulnerable to environmental degradation and climate change. Bolivia´s 11 million population is ethnically diverse and class differences are large. Extreme poverty is prevalent among the indigenous people, who represent approximately half of the population. The Constitution (2009) guarantees the autonomy of the indigenous people but in practice they are highly marginalized.

Approximately 850 000 children of age 5-14 work in the agriculture, mining, or other industry, and services. Child labor is permitted by law (2014) which has direct negative impact on child rights such as education, and thereby on the future of the next generation of Bolivians.

Our work in Bolivia

Key words: indigenous people, human rights, women, water, food security. livelihoods

Implementing partner: Iglesia Evangélica Luterana Boliviana (IELB)

The Bolivian Evangelical Lutheran Church is the biggest indigenous church in Latin America. It has 22 000 members, most of which belong to the indigenous Aymara and Quechua peoples. IELB works holistically emphasizing human rights and social justice. It is a member church of the Lutheran World Federation.

Project description:

Approximately 50% of Bolivia’s 11 million inhabitants belong to indigenous peoples. Their social status, nutrition, and health conditions are low. Family violence and violence against women is common and living conditions in rural areas, but also in the metropolitan region of La Paz-El Alto, are difficult.

The project advances the social status and living conditions of the indigenous peoples of Bolivia in the Andean highlands through community-based solutions. Food security is improved by developing kitchen gardens suitable for the harsh climate and environmental conditions. Water systems and wells are constructed for villages to improve access to clean water. The women’s artisan organization is strengthened by improving the administrative, design, production, and marketing skills of the artisans. Domestic violence and the realization of women’s and children’s rights are addressed by raising awareness in families and communities as well as among decision makers. Women’s role as change agents in the communities is also improved by empowering women to participate in decision making in the community and in wider society.

Key words: children, youth, human rights, training, education, families, living conditions

Implementing partner: Centro de Promocíon Minera (CEPROMIN)

Centro de Promoción Minera, CEPROMIN is a social organization working for rights and better living conditions of miners and their families.

Project description:

The project improves living conditions, life skills, and future opportunities of working children and youth in the mining communities of Llallagua and Uncia municipalities. In Bolivia it is common that children start earning a living for their families at a very young age already. This hinders children’s normal growth, development, and education opportunities and limits their future possibility of working in the mines. The project aims to promote education and provide alternative opportunities and views for the future by improving life skills, leadership trainings, and improving vocational skills. Families are also involved through discussions, home visits, and culture and sports events, in order to improve family relations and the awareness of child rights and child development in the communities.

Photos from Bolivia