February 29 2008

Child day-care centres for flood victims in Bolivia

28/02/2008 - Thousands of people have again been hit by heavy rainfall, flooding and landslides. Just as it did last year, SOS Children's Villages is setting up temporary relief centres for children.

Photo: Fernando Espinoza
Official estimates suggest that more than 73,000 families across Bolivia have been hit by the effects of La Niña in the past weeks. Large areas were flooded just last year, particularly in the lowland areas of the country. Last year, SOS Children's Villages also set up several emergency relief centres for children, and distributed relief supplies.

SOS Children's Villages has set up three temporary community centres in El Alto (in the highlands of Bolivia) and in two districts of Trinidad (in the Department of Beni), which can care for 300 children. Over a period of three months, the children will receive regular meals and medical care, and will be taught and be involved in different educational activities at the centres. In parallel, their parents will receive support and advice, and their communities will be encouraged to show solidarity and take on responsibility. Should it be necessary, the centres will remain open for longer than three months.

Photo: Fernando Espinoza

The Bolivian lowlands have again been hit the hardest, but the effects of the heavy rainfall over the last few weeks can also be seen in regions at high altitudes, such as the areas on the outskirts of El Alto. There, families have mainly lost their houses in landslides, which have even killed some people.

SOS Children's Villages is working closely with social welfare offices, community committees and other local social facilities in all three locations.