The needs in Lomas

Health Care
Food shortages are a common problem in Lomas, where 33% of children under five are chronically malnourished. Most do not eat nutritious foods like milk, meat and fresh produce, because their families can't afford it.

Many people have farm animals like goats or chickens, having brought them to Lomas when they moved from the countryside, but in the adjustment to urban life, they struggle to make a productive livelihood from them. Others attempt to plant vegetables and grains, but don't know how to adapt their farming practices to their new urban setting. Lack of basic health care and sanitation services, along with poor understanding of basic hygiene at the family level, leads to frequent sickness. Teenage pregnancies are also common, but most young women are not instructed about potential health risks for expecting mothers, or preemptive, healthful strategies. Without access to proper pre-natal and post-natal medical care, infant and maternal deaths are common.

Achieving quality education is a challenge for Lomas children, starting at a very young age. Many mothers are left to provide for their children alone when husbands abandon their families. Without supervision, children fend for themselves during the day, and all too often end up working to support the family as well. As a result of this, their education suffers and dropout rates are high.

Since parents are often absent, children often don't receive the nurturing they need for their early development, or the support they need to excel at school. As a result, many of Lomas children lag behind in both education and basic life skills.

Unfortunately, the local schools also struggle to provide quality education. Classes are overcrowded, teachers can't improve students academic performance, and they lack necessary resources for learning, like books and furniture. Older students are given very little support in terms of career counselling and planning for the future.

Child Protection
The community of Lomas from local government to teachers to the youth themselves has yet to fully understand children's rights to grow up safe and secure. Lomas youth are often exposed to violence, gang activity and child labour.

It's not unusual for them to be left on their own for ten hours a day while parents work. Since there aren't programs or safe places for youth to spend their time, they are likely to be pulled into gangs, and become vulnerable to drugs and drinking. Children themselves are often required to work to help sustain their families.
Broken homes are common in Lomas a discouraging result of economic hardship, alcoholism and domestic violence. Six out of ten children in this area have grown up with violence in their homes. These negative patterns have been passed on to Lomas youth over generations, but the community is now recognizing that this culture of abuse needs to be changed.
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Lomas's Community News

Thanks to the generous support of Canadians, we’ve started work to improve the well-being of children and families in this community. These are a few of the areas we will focus on this next year

Lomas, which means “hills in Spanish, sits amongst the mountains and plains of southern Bolivia. The population of this urban slum continues to grow as families migrate from rural communities toward the city in search of better lives. Most make their living as drivers, masons, street vendors, and, particularly for women, selling wares at the market. Family income generally ranges from $1.30 to $2.75 USD a day.

Lomas population is very young - 53% are younger than 20 - and unfortunately, under-education is extremely common. Most families are struggling to get by, and with parents working long hours outside the home, children are usually left on their own during the day with no one to monitor their studies and nutrition, or keep them out of risky situations. Alcoholism, drugs and crime are constant worries.
  • 225 individuals learned about child rights and protection issues to help ensure children's safety and participation
  • 20 people learned how to work with local authorities and influence decisions to improve services and child well-being
  • 825 children and youth are improving their learning through tutoring and extracurricular activities like clubs and camps
  • 121 children and youth were trained in essential life skills such as critical thinking, self-esteem and communication
  • 171 parents and caregivers learned about the importance of education and how to support their child’s learning
  • 8 teachers and volunteers learned child-friendly teaching methods to improve the quality of education for children
  • 100 people received vocational, business and finance training, improving their opportunities to earn a steady income

Explore Lomas

current conditions

To protect the privacy of children, this map shows only the general area of the community, not the exact location.

Life cycle of a sponsorship community

Lomas,  is in Phase 1

PHASE 1: Building the foundation

With local leaders, we assess the community's needs and resources, plan projects to provide long term solutions. Sponsorship and development opportunities begin.