Vocational Training Project
According to the statistical data in Bolivia approximately 800.000 children and teenagers are involved in some work activity. Of these children, more than 300.000, are under 14 years old and a large number of them live in La Paz, that receives a large migration of peasants from impoverished rural areas.
Frequently, children that work are school drop outs or they never had some formal education, their work conditions place their health in jeopardy with schedules exceeding the 8 hours a day, works that affect their morality; they do not get a fair salary, medical insurance nor scholar benefits. Mainly, the work done by the children on the city of La Paz are shoe polishers, market carriers, helpers in transportation vehicles, factory workers, etc.
They have to work because of the family unemployment and extreme poverty, where the economic contribution of children is important for many families. On the other hand, the high rate of maternal mortality is one of the reasons for the increasing population of orphan children that are forced to find their own means of support.
he Arco Iris Foundation through its “Trabajadores” (Workers) projet helps, in the first place, that the children that work in the street do not cut their family bonds and helps them go to school, and secondly, it helps them to stay away from alcohol, drugs and criminal activities. This is achieved by assisting the children in their school activities with support classes in the “Casa de Paso” and by giving them school supplies. All working children under 14 years old receive free medical attention in the Arco Iris Hospital.
This project has an scholarship program for the technical training and university studies. Each year, this economic support helps a considerable number of teenagers to improve themselves by getting a job skill or a university degree.
The project also has a job data bank that helps teenagers or young adults to access to a stable work with better remuneration.
The project works with a saving program, that allows many of these youngsters to save money to buy clothing, tools or other things.
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