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  • Gustavo Driau

IELB programs promote rights for children and adolescents

Bolivia faces crucial human development challenges, a difficult situation in one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Structural poverty particularly affects children and adolescents because it prevents the fundamental right to live in an environment that allows personal development.

The problems of children and adolescents in Bolivia are serious. They are related to the lack of access to health and food and the great difficulties for the development of their capacities, the right to protection, and equal opportunities without discrimination by age, sex, place of residence, and ethnic origin. One of the most common ways in which their rights are violated are material and emotional deprivation

Children and adolescents in Bolivia make up 44% of the national population, that is, 4.1 million human beings.

In Bolivia, six out of ten children and adolescents (60% that is 2.5 million) suffer from Unsatisfied Basic Needs. Five out of ten (50%) live below the poverty line

The deficiencies and difficulties prevent them from living a reasonably healthy childhood and adolescence that prepares them for a more just society; on the contrary, the lack of capacity development and protection leads them to continue to suffer various forms of exclusion throughout their lives.

IELB tries to promote a holistic approach in its work with children aged 6 to 12.

The programs seek the development of capacities, the protection of rights, and equal opportunities. Every child and adolescent is a central actor in the search for dignity and justice.

The IELB programs promote that children and adolescents have access to their identity, health and nutrition, primary education, and physical development. Also that they have access so that their opinions are heard, and to have recreation

The IELB programs promote protection from physical, sexual, and psychological violence and exploitation at work. Also that there is protection having a place to live, protection from drug use, and teenage pregnancy.

In the context of the COVID pandemic, IELB supports its work to protect children with a contribution to the food security of children and adolescents who participate in its programs.

In the city of Cobija, IELB has managed to support children and adolescents and their families with food and hygiene kits so that they can feed themselves amidst the needs caused by the pandemic and the consequent lack of work, income, and food.

But the IELB does not only distribute food, on the contrary, but they also promote a comprehensive approach to the development of children and adolescents

The IELB childhood programs promote equal opportunities facing discrimination based on gender, ethnicity, religion, physical and intellectual abilities, place of residence.

The programs promote the rights approach, and the opportunity to develop capacities with the right to education, a healthy life, to be heard, to recreation.

The diaconal programs of the IELB promote the dimension of protection of children and adolescents with emphasis on children and adolescents living in situations of high vulnerability; and that therefore they need protection and prevention of domestic violence, various forms of exploitation, abandonment, and discrimination.

The IELB food and hygiene kit distribution campaign is a shared effort with the Synod of Montana-ELCA, which is implemented in the months of July, August and September 2020

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