Bolivia

 

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Kirkollinen työ Church cooperation  Kehitysyhteistyö Development cooperation

 

Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America.  Indigenous minorities, in particular, have suffered discrimination for many years.  It is estimated that around one third of children and young people are working in poor conditions in mines and on sugar and nut plantations.  In rural areas children spend an average of four years in education.

FELM has two partner organisations in Bolivia.  Firstly, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Bolivia (IELB), which is the largest church made up of indigenous people in South America.  The Church has around 18,000 members, almost all of whom belong to the Aymara indigenous group.  FELM has been partnering with IELB since 2004 and our cooperation covers church and development cooperation work.  Since 2011 FELM has also partnered with the Mine Worker’s Union CEPROMIN.  CEPROMIN is the only organisation working to promote the rights of mine workers and their families in Bolivia.  One of their target groups are underage mine workers.  The organisation aims, through training, to provide the children with other options for their future.

The projects FELM supports aim to:

  • Strengthen the spiritual life of  local congregations
  • Improve children’s living conditions and opportunities for attending school
  • Increase knowledge on health-related issues
  • Improve the food security and sanitation situations
  • Strengthen the positions of women in society

 

Proclamation work

The goal of our church work is to empower and encourage churches in remote villages.  We also aim to strengthen the work of the Theological Institute of La Paz and a centre run by IELB, which aims to support the education of disadvantaged Aymara girls.

Service

FELM supports a village development project that aims to provide clean water, adequate sanitation and to build greenhouses in the La Paz region.  In the training, which is part of the project, there is also teaching on human rights and health issues.

Children in mining regions are taught about human rights, in order that they would be better able to defend and promote their own rights.  They are taught, for instance, about child labour and related issues.