This orphanage is the place where TIA’s founder Tessa worked during her first visit in 2008. It is a government run and funded orphanage, housing up to 85 children, ages ranging from 0-14 years. The children live in 6 houses, approximately 14 children in each. There is one woman employed in each house to take care of the children. Each house has an eating area, sleeping area, bathroom and living area. Most of the children who live at the orphanage come from families who cannot afford to care for them, or who are abusive and/or alcoholic. Many of them have faced enormous hardship and have experienced trauma that no child should ever experience.
There are constant waves of head lice at the home, and the hygiene conditions are very poor which means the children are constantly getting sick. The lack of staff and constant change of administration means that these children have no steady ongoing support and care. Their development is way behind that of children in more stable environments.
The Water Project (El Proyecto de Agua)
For the past few years the water system at the Ciudadela has been deteriorating. It eventually got to the point where there was no running water to any of the houses that the children live in, and the water that came out of the taps in the rest of the centre was black and contained unsafe chemicals. Tia International Aid partnered up with Projects Abroad, German based organisation Escuelita Cochabamba, and BridgIT Water Foundation to replace the entire water system and provide clean running water to all of the houses and buildings within the centre.
In January 2011, a group of Volunteers through BridgIT and Projects Abroad, along with funding contributed from Tia International Aid, BridgIT, Projects Abroad and Escuelita Cochabamba, worked together to remodel the entire water system at the orphanage. Tessa, TIA’s founder, was also present at this time, and everyone worked as a team to complete the job in less than a month! Now the children have clean, running water to all of the houses and their general health and wellbeing is bound to skyrocket!
Early in 2009, Tia International Aid was approached by Escuelita Cochabamba e.V., a German non-profit organisation which also works with Ciudadela SEDEGES, to assist in paying for the wage of the Doctor who works with the children at the orphanage. TIA agreed and subsequently paid for 4 months of this Doctors wage. This Doctor, Lucy Moran, is an indispensable asset to the orphanage, ensuring that the children get regular health checks and are treated for any ailments they contract. The health of the children is of fundamental importance and it is vital that they learn healthy habits, which is something Doctor Moran promotes and encourages. Throughout each year, TIA also provides Dr Moran with medical supplies to be able to treat the children effectively.
By preserving the integrity of the children’s nutrition and health, their intellectual development and behaviour will directly and indirectly be improved. We worked directly with Silvia (one of the educators employed at the pre-school within the orphanage) to develop this project.
The specific objectives were to:
- Develop hygiene principles and food care Develop positive eating habits
- Advise on food ingredients and contents
- Strengthen their knowledge on different foods
- Foster care, concentration and develop motion control, self-confidence, and responsibility
To implement this project we provided a refrigerator and an oven. Silvia has carried out the project and has reported that the children are showing great learning progress.