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Fundacion Helping Hands - La Paz (Bolivia)

managed by L. Zarate

About us

The Fundacion Helping Hands - La Paz (Bolivia) became an official organization in October 2014. At that time it took over the running of the Helping Hands Project that had been run since 2004 by two volunteers, Linda Zarate and Marion Ibañez. The mission of our organization is to open educational opportunities to Bolivian youth of very limited economic resources. We receive many young people from local orphanages and other projects for youth at risk.
This year, 2015, we support the studies of 90 students, both girls and boys, mainly in post-secondary programmes of study in technical institutes and in local universities. We sometimes assist high school students to finish their high school diploma. At the moment we have 7 students in high school.
Besides the assistance we give to our students for the payment of universities fees, transportation, rent, food or school materials, we also provide free medical and dental care. To encourage integral personal development for the students we have obligatory monthly meetings with guest speakers who can give orientation and information to the students on such topics as responsibility, personal care, reproductive and sexual health, environmental concerns, Human Rights, and citizenship. In our office we provide computers and internet for the use of the students and the option to print out school assignments.
Our Social Worker makes home visits to new students and repeat visits whenever the need arises. She also helps to organize social events in the office for healthy recreation for the students. A good part of our mission is to broaden the horizons of our young people and help them realize their dreams of a better future.
The Helping Hands Project was originally run only by two volunteers, but the Project has grown to the point that we now employ an Assistant Director, a Social Worker, an Auxiliary Accountant and a Messenger. Our staff spends a lot of personal time with our students and keeps the students up to date on the monthly requirements they must fulfill for the Project, such as medical checkups, dental checkups, communication with sponsors, presentation of grades, etc.
2015 has been a challenging year for Helping Hands as our official status requires much more paperwork and fulfillment of government requirements and reports. However with our staff additions we are able to meet these demands.
The Fundacion Helping Hands- La Paz (Bolivia) is looking forward to many years of helping underprivileged Bolivia youth become professionals and productive citizens thereby breaking the cycle of poverty, giving their families a more sustainable future.

This organisation cooperates with the Maecenata Foundation:

Latest project news

Helping Hands Newsletter February - March 2021

  L. Zarate  22 April 2021 at 11:10 AM

This year we welcomed 110 students, 30 of them are new. We wish them all a very successful upcoming year! Check out our 2021 students
Our Program Director Pamela left Helping Hands in mid-February for family reasons. We are very grateful to her for all the work she did which has contributed to our organization having legal and administrative requirements that will allow Helping Hands to expand.

And now we welcome our new Program Director Vierca Mejía who is very enthusiastic to continue the work that Pamela started. We will strive to overcome the new challenges and achieve new goals for the benefit of all of our students.OUR STUDENTS
There is no greater joy than seeing the positive results of our work, the sponsors’ commitments and our students’ efforts.
Gilda is a student of Dentistry at the Public University UMSA.  She completed her rural internship in Dentistry in the town of Hilata from February until the end of March. Now she will begin her urban internship for 3 months to finish her studies and begin the process of graduation. Congratulations Gilda, you are just a step away from your degree and being able to contribute your skills to society.

REYNA VANESSAReyna Vanessa is studying Public Accounting at the UNICEN and will complete her coursework in June of this year. She will then begin the graduation process which will take another six months. Before joining Helping Hands, Vanessa enrolled in sewing classes hoping to be able to cover some of her living expenses and save money for her graduation by taking in sewing. She turned out to be quite the entrepreneur and now has a small business of her own.  Go for it, Vanessa, we need enterprising people who can create jobs. We are sure you will do very well.It is the beginning of the school year again and Helping Hands has many new students who need sponsors. If you would like to sponsor a student or just help out with a one-time donation, please visit OUR SPONSORSHIP PAGE or donate on the Betterplace page.

This new year 2021, so many young people are hoping for the opportunity of an education which allows them to achieve their dreams. We wish we could help everyone, but because of our limited resources we must limit our acceptances. Helping Hands requires a lengthy application form to be filled out and a home visit (virtual this year) for all applicants. So far we have accepted 30 new students for 2021. We welcome this great group of dreamers, who put all their effort into achieving their goals.SCHOOL SUPPLIES DISTRIBUTION
In March we distributed school supplies to all of our elementary and high school students. They were most grateful to have the materials required by their schools so they can keep up with their studies. Schools in Bolivia do not provide books and materials for the students making it difficult for poorer families to keep their children in school.WORKSHOPS
In February, we held our first online workshop of the year with all of our students. This welcoming workshop was also informative. Given by our Helping Hands team, we talked about the monthly requirements, scholarship opportunities, dates for coming workshops and much more.Considering the importance of our students’ health, in March our workshop was directed by a Dentist, Doctor Gisela, a former Helping Hands student. Dr. Gisela gave us a very informative workshop on Dental Care, and she also explained how to choose a suitable toothpaste and toothbrush and how to use them correctly. Thank you Dr. Gisela!!
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Calle Colombia
La Paz

L. Zarate

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