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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Urgent - Help Needed!

I am currently working on International Service’s Entrepreneurship project. This projects aims to empower and improve the nutrition of families in El Alto.

More than 70 per cent of the families in this area live in poverty. Enabling these families to better theirs and their children’s lives is extremely important. Recently we were told about a family who needed more help than most. The mother had recently lost her husband and was left with four children to support.
Hearing this, we felt extremely motivated to help, and donned our blue overalls ready to lend a hand in rebuilding their greenhouse.

We found that the family live on a small plot in a barren area of El Alto. Their house consists of only one room, but a greenhouse sits proudly to the side of it, constructed with bricks and plastic sheeting. Inside grow vegetables to improve the nutrition of the four children and improve their economic standing. We’ve spent two days helping to rebuild their greenhouse, to be stronger and more useful for the family.

Though this has been productive and rewarding, we feel there is still more that can be done. Like any children, the kids in this family are growing fast, but clothes simply cannot be their Mother’s top priority. Yet if IS volunteers work together, we could make a difference to this family and others like it.

If we needed inspiration to do this, then the community set a perfect example to us as volunteers. During our work, people with no real tie to this family had volunteered their personal time to help. They got stuck in with manual work as if it was nothing. Regardless of the fact that they looked as if they should have relaxed into retirement ten years ago.

The family themselves also showed us what selflessness and hard work looks like. The four children of the family were truly the loveliest children we’ve met here. The eldest, a 12 year old girl, looked out for the others while her Mum helped with construction work and cooked lunch.

Are you thinking of volunteering with IS soon? You might even be arriving to the dizzy heights of La Paz as early as next month. Is there a way you could bring along old children’s clothing? We’re going to put a collection for old clothes in the office, placing it alongside recycling; we hope it becomes just as routine. And we hope that you can help.

It’s easily done. Search your attic. Ask your relatives. Visit a charity shop. Or post a request on Facebook.
Swap that extra outfit in your suitcase for some kids clothes, its a small act that could make a big difference. Besides, you can use the extra space on your flight home for llama jumpers, colourful souvenirs or a load of coca tea. Everybody wins!

Written by India Thorogood
Edited by Liam Hilton

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