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Last time you were here, you were looking to help vulnerable children and families. Your support can save and change lives.

Sapahaqui is a rural area three hours from Bolivia’s capital, La Paz. Here, ChildFund Bolivia is supporting a key initiative which focuses on the training of community health volunteers, also known as guide mothers.

Guide mothers are responsible for visiting parents in the community to monitor children`s health and development. They teach caregivers how best to support children, and also take part in community-wide health monitoring events, held regularly at the local Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centre, with doctors on site.

At one session in 2014, the guide mothers met Ingela, a baby girl. She was severely malnourished and dehydrated. Her mother Cristina had 11 other children, with six-month-old Ingela being the youngest, and she was very worried.

The doctor`s diagnosis was clear: Ingela needed medical attention in the city because the community health centre didn`t have enough resources to help her. Unfortunately, Cristina did not have enough money to go to the city to get support; and had been giving Ingela only natural medicines and infusions. With this information, staff took Cristina and Ingela to the nearest hospital in El Alto City.

The diagnosis: severe anaemia, malnutrition, dehydration and pneumonia.

After a month in the hospital, Ingela had gained weight. The family received support from ChildFund throughout Ingela`s complete recovery: working with social services at the hospital to ensure Ingela received medicine, treatment and a bed at the hospital.

Two years later, Ingela is healthy and developing well, according to the results of her last visit to the ECD Centre with her mother for health monitoring.

“Those days were so hard for us,” Cristina remembers. “I didn’t have enough milk for Ingela, or money to save her. I am very grateful for the project and to ChildFund for all the advice and support.”


Two years ago, Juanita’s family were given a cow by ChildFund Bolivia. This gift has not only changed her life, but has also helped to improve the lives of her family and other community members.

To help support her household of six people, Juanita used to earn an income by baking bread for sale in the family’s small, poorly ventilated kitchen. However, this was dangerous as Juanita often inhaled a lot of smoke, and suffered from heat exhaustion and back pain.

These days, Juanita no longer has to work in the kitchen to make ends meet. Instead, she sells the surplus cow milk that her family and other close families in her community don`t consume.

Currently, the family has two cows and three calves – all of which Juanita is able to care for, milk, and breed, due to training she received from ChildFund Bolivia.

“My life is complete,” she says.

“I am a better mother because of these cows, and I am also a leader in the community. I never could have imagined my life would improve so much with the help of just one cow.”

Juanita recently donated a cow to her neighbour Diana, a mother of three young boys. Juanita and ChildFund Bolivia chose Diana’s family to receive the cow based on their needs, their participation in community programs, and because they had enough land for the cow to graze. Now Juanita is able to give back to the community by sharing her skills with Diana and teaching her how to look after the cow, named Cristina.

“I will treat Cristina as my only daughter. I will care for her just as Juanita did. I hope that she will grow strong and reproduce, so that I can also give a calf to someone in the community. My heart is so full and I am very thankful,” says Diana.

It is clear that with the gift of just one cow, the lives of families and communities can continue to be been transformed.