ValenTIA Transition Project

ValenTIA Transition Project

Why is it important?

In Bolivia there are an estimated 30,000 (Aldeas Infantiles SOS Bolivia y IICC, 2017) children, adolescents and youth in the protection system. The law enforces the support of the State to cease at the age of 18. This means that many of these adolescents do not have the necessary resources to sustain themselves, presenting a high risk of returning to the cycle of poverty and violence from which they were originally removed. There are very few residential care homes in Bolivia that have a formal leaving care program for their teens.

In Cochabamba alone, approximately 5,000 children live in care homes, without much hope of a future of opportunities or success.

TIA’s mission is to give hope to and create real opportunities for these young people.

Our ValenTIA Transition Program is aimed at providing the necessary support for these young people to ensure that they make a successful transition into adulthood and thus can reach their full potential. It is the only project of it’s kind in Bolivia.

 

Project description

Our project takes a holistic approach to breaking the cycle of dependence by empowering young people in State care. We provide essential life skills and access to opportunities.

The following activities are part of this project:

  • Workshops facilitated with adolescents aged 14-18 from care homes in Cochabamba aimed at preparing them for independence. These workshops are made up of three cycles covering 6 thematic modules: Personal Development, Sexuality, Study Habits and Techniques, Media and Social Networks, Power and Violence, and Finance.
  • A training program for the staff working in the homes in order to provide them with necessary and appropriate resources and tools to adequately prepare the teenagers in the homes they work in for their transition to independence.
  • A referential support service for young care leavers (18 – 24 years old) providing tailored individual support according to the needs of the beneficiaries, such as education support, career guidance, personal growth, and developing independent living skills, as well as group activities and workshops.
  • A young care leavers network, where through active participation these young care leavers develop an online information portal for care leavers that allows them to access information on jobs, educational options, health and other issues; This network will also be the driving force behind a campaign to change the leaving care age in Bolivia to 21.
  • A replicable young care leavers residency model accompanying young people in the transition from care to independence, guiding each young person to develop their ‘Life Project’, motivating and empowering them to acquire or consolidate adequate tools for an independent life, to live autonomously, to complete further study or training, and to find and maintain employment.
  • Advocacy and political lobbying through an interinstitutional approach including focused research, participation in networks, and facilitating spaces for young care leavers to share their stories and raise awareness about their experiences.

 

Check out our ‘Donate’ section if you or your organisation is interested in supporting this project with a donation, or would like to become a Sponsor. Contact our Executive Director at hello@tia.org.au for more information about the project and how you can help.