Blogging from Bolivia: Welcome to the First Tia Blog Post

Welcome to TIA’s first ever blog!! This is your one stop shop for all the updates on our projects in Bolivia, anything exciting happening on the fundraising front in Australia (and hopefully around the world one day soon), and any other bits and pieces we care to share.

So for these first few posts, we will be sharing stories with you from Bolivia, as TIA’s Director Tessa has been over there since the 29th of November, and will be there until the 9th of February. So get ready for exciting updates all the way from Cochabamba, Bolivia…..

So we arrived in Cochabamba on the 29th of November. There was myself (Tessa, the Director of TIA), with Kelly, our Assistant Director from Australia, her partner in crime (aka boyfriend) Chris (or as we affectionately refer to him – TIA’s IT Support), and Stacey, our Volunteer Coordinator from Australia. We didn’t waste any time in getting straight to work, as Stacey was only going to be with us for 2 weeks, and Kelly and Chris were leaving the week after. So in the first week we were here we met with Jimena, our Bolivian In-Country Director, to get an update on how things were going.

(L-R: Stacey, Tessa, and Jimena)

We then went and visited Ciudadela SEDEGES, the children’s home where we work, to see how things were looking there. The water system that we assisted in setting up at the beginning of the year is working well and all looking good, I’m pleased to report! The kids still enjoy the luxury of running water in their houses and the hygiene looks much better than it was. The nutrition project we supported within the kindergarten centre at Ciudadela is also going well, with the kids learning to make lots of different foods. The boys had a ball climbing all over Chris as they don’t generally have many male visitors, so it was a total novelty for them to have someone who could give them horse rides and swing them around.

Chris with one of the kids at Ciudadela SEDEGES

(L-R: Jimena, Percy, Elizabeth, Adrian, Jhuli, Nelson, and Willy)

After that we went and visited Manuela Gandarillas, the rehabilitation centre for blind and visually impaired children and adolescents where we also have set up a few projects. The students were already on holidays for the summer break unfortunately so we didn’t get to see them, but we met with Nico, the director of the centre, and he showed us the computers that we set up at the beginning of the year, which were all functioning well and looking good. He said the kids have been getting a lot of use out of them, which was great to hear. The music project has also been going well this year, and Nico gave us a copy of the DVD that we filmed of the music concert they did at the start of November. We will post this video online shortly so that everyone can see the amazing work that the kids have been doing over the past year – their talent and dedication never ceases to amaze me! We also checked out the sensory garden that two of our volunteers Joey and Ruby set up when they were here a few months ago. It looks great! We then had a look at the new shopfront they’ve constructed. They’re planning to open a small shop to sell the amazing products that the students learn to make in workshops, as well as food and drinks, which will provide them with a bit of an income and will bring in some funds for the centre. We are looking at ways to support this project.

L-R: Nico (Director of Manuela Gandarillas), Stacey, Tessa, Kelly, and Jimena in the Computer Room at Manuela Gandarillas

Nico and Jimena and the new shopfront at Manuela Gandarillas

That concludes our first blog post! Stay tuned for more exciting happenings from the Terrific TIA Team in Cochabamba, Bolivia!

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