Up Close Bolivia
We are a family-run social enterprise set up by Emma, an ex-volunteer from England, and her Bolivian Husband Rolando. e promote community based volunteering and sustainable intercultural tourism in Bolivia. Our work is based on the concept of “RECIPROCIDAD” which means “reciprocity”- a concept at the heart of Andean culture. It is all about giving back and contributing in a way which enriches both the person who is giving and the person who is receiving equally.
We’re looking for:
Our team were founders of the Valley of the Moon Children’s Centre and this project was where our volunteering programme was born. It continues to be at the heart of our work. The centre is now completely managed by local families, whilst our role is to provide ongoing support through fundraising and also the creativity and commitment of our volunteers. The Valley of the Moon Children’s Centre was born in 2004 from a dream held by the local Mother’s Club of Mallasa and our local community. We dreamt of a community nursery, where families could access services that would respect their cultural background and where our children could have the right to learn and play in an atmosphere of creativity and security. It is a community-run centre for local children, many from poor backgrounds, who are aged six months to four years in Mallasa. It is a very happy nursery run by local families and which employs 9 local women called Aunties or “Tias”, many of whom belong to the Aymara ethnic group.
However, funds are always stretched and we are understaffed. We only have funding for one teacher for every 16 children, so the local women who work as educators certainly have their hands full, especially with the 3-4 year olds who have so much energy! Our aim is to provide quality, integrated childcare for children from different backgrounds, enabling their parents – especially women – to take up employment opportunities outside of the home. Thanks to the commitment and hard work of the local women and Up Close volunteers, around 87 children currently benefit from our services at the centre. We hope to continue improving what we can offer the children, as well as the professional development of the 10 locally trained women who run the centre.