This year begins with the launching of computer training programs at high schools throughout Cochabamba to join national and local efforts to increase computer literacy among high school students. We have begun working with school administrators and teachers to implement computer-based curriculums in the classroom for core subjects such as math and science and to design introductory computer programming courses. In February we assisted seven high schools to install computer labs in their facilities and will be providing training throughout the year.
In keeping with our efforts earlier in the year to expand computer programing to high schools, in July we began offering free winter break robotics classes to elementary school students ages 8 to 12. The winter season in Bolivia and South America is June through August. The courses allow the students to design and program small robotic cars and we hope this will be an important step in motivating Bolivia’s young generation to pursue math, science, and technology related careers in the future.
Incarcerated Children Project – CAICC
The Bolivian Integrated Support Center for Children of Incarcerated Parents (CAICC) is a civil association in Cochabamba, Bolivia, founded in 1994 to provide holistic support services based on principles of love, respect, and solidarity to the many children who live in the prisons in and around Cochabamba with their incarcerated parents. In Bolivia, most prison inmates are poor and lack the resources to take care of their families while incarcerated therefore Bolivian law allows families to live inside the prisons alongside their parents and spouses. Consequentially prisons in Cochabamba and throughout Bolivia are completely oversaturated and present an extremely dangerous and unsafe environment for the inmates and especially their families. CAICC transport the children living in the prisons to and from their education and recreation center where they provide tutoring services, sports and recreation, as well as mental and public health services. CAICC currently supports a population of 100 minors ages 5 to 17. In July Adelante Bolivia partnered with CAICC to provide the children at their center with free computer classes and after school tutoring. Although we play a small role, we hope to assist CAICC is providing these brave kids with opportunity and self-confidence.
Proyecto Ayopaya – Expanding our rural outreach
Continuing last year’s rural initiative, we have returned to the rural communities of the Bolivian Andes to and set up another computer lab in the province of Ayopaya. The lab will focus on providing free computer classes but also provide free tutoring for local students. The province of Ayopaya has long been known for their textiles which are regarded as some of the best in the country, and Adelante Bolivia will assist a local association of weavers to market their beautiful works online to national and international markets. The computers and lab will be housed in facilities provided by Ayopayamanta, a Bolivia-German non-profit organization located in Ayopaya and lead by Board member Henry Coca and supported by international volunteers provided by Ayopayamanta.