Bolivia is a beautiful South American country that is committed to overcoming underdevelopment by means of determination, hard work and love. It has a population of eleven million people, with a variety of ethnic and linguistic groups. Most people in Bolivia are poor, and the most affected are children.
The city of La Paz is the country’s seat of government. It is here where we work with children, both boys and girls, who survive on the the small change they earn from washing cars, shining shoes, selling candy or begging. They are considered as “disposables” -human beings without value and without future.
Living and working on the streets from such an early age is a hard and traumatic experience. The children are exposed to the dangers of a life of poverty and hardship. Discrimination, cruelty, and sexual and psychological abuse push these children to consume drugs and alcohol, in a desperate attempt to find relief from their hunger and lack of love.
Arco Iris is a non-profit, social foundation, endorsed by the Catholic Church, and legally recognized by the Bolivian Government. It was founded in La Paz, by a German priest, Father Josef Maria Neuenhofer, in 1994.
Our mission is to provide indispensable financial support to social programs focused on homeless children in urban settings of La Paz, Bolivia. The Arco Iris Foundation has created processes to assure these homeless children have life-sustaining care, social stability, and the ability to have social and vocational skills that increase their self-esteem to help them achieve independence in their social, civic, and work environments.