Bolivia is a beautiful South American country committed to overcoming underdevelopment through determination, hard work, and love. It has eleven million people from various ethnic and linguistic groups. But, unfortunately, most people in Bolivia are poor; the most affected are children.
The city of La Paz is the country’s seat of government. Here, we work with children, both boys and girls, who survive on the small change they earn from washing cars, shining shoes, selling candy, or begging. They are considered “disposables” -beings without value and a future.
Living and working on the streets from an early age is a complex and traumatic experience. The children are exposed to the dangers of poverty and hardship. Discrimination, cruelty, and sexual and psychological abuse push these children to consume drugs and alcohol desperately to relieve 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 vital financial support to social programs focused on homeless children in the urban settings of La Paz, Bolivia. The Arco Iris Foundation has created processes to ensure 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.