Why is it important?
Approximately 5000 children live in orphanages in Cochabamba, without much hope of a future full of opportunities and success that they deserve once they leave the orphanages. TIA’s mission is to give hope and create real opportunities to these children leaving orphanages around Cochabamba.
Upon turning 18 years old, these young adults have reached the maximum age for living in a children’s home – a time of great doubt and stress. From an early age they have grown completely dependent on their orphanage, with no real life skills or tools to lead successful lives outside the home. They often do not have a clear life plan, mentors, or the financial resources to support themselves and enable them to pursue higher studies, resulting in many of these young people returning to the lifestyle that they were removed from when they were first institutionalised.
There are very few orphanages in Cochabamba that have a preparatory program for teenagers aged between 16 and 18 and/or high school graduates. As a result, it is often the case that any positive progress made whilst these children are in the orphanages is lost when they leave. Our ValenTIA Transition Program will provide a real opportunity for these young people to take control of their lives and become the amazing people we know they have the potential to be!
The ValenTIA (meaning ‘courage’ in Spanish) Transition Project is TIA’s newest development project.
Our project takes a holistic approach to breaking the cycle of dependence by empowering young people in state care with essential life skills and access to opportunities so that they can become thriving members in their communities. There are two phases to the program:
Phase I – we have already successfully established skill building preparatory workshops whilst the young people are still in the orphanages.
Phase II of our program – the ValenTIA Transition Centre will function as a support centre for these young adults once the support they receive from the orphanages cease when they turn 18.
The project is composed of the following components:
- Preparatory workshops for the young people before they leave the orphanages
- Life and work skills training
- Educational scholarships and tuition
- Mentoring Program
- Job creation and career counselling
- A transitional residence
- Income generating business to sustain the project
We work with these young people to enable them to create brighter futures for themselves by focusing on: opening up further study opportunities; allowing them to enter and thrive in a work environment; and building their self-esteem, and confidence to take responsibility of their own life direction.
Check out our ‘How you can help‘ section if you or your organisation is interested in supporting this project.