Team Thaki is passionate about Bolivia, but we’re also keen to get involved and take part in solidarity projects and actions throughout the year!
Bolivia is considered by the United Nations to be the poorest country in South America, despite the huge disparities between the different regions of the country. Taking one of the cable cars in La Paz is also a way of quickly realising the glaring inequalities that can be seen from one district to another. Numerous associations are on hand to support local players.
THE CIELO ASSOCIATION
We have been in contact for some time now with Patrick Bernard, director and co-founder of the French international solidarity association C.I.E.L.O. Created in 1995, the NGO manages numerous solidarity projects around the world. Since 2001, the association has been working on the outskirts of La Paz in Alto. The population there is considered to be the youngest in South America.
Its aim? To help improve the living conditions of the most disadvantaged children and families by offering them a friendly place to relax and play. In Bolivia, three toy libraries were set up in 2001 and 2006 in the towns of El Alto (a suburb of La Paz) and Potosi.
An afternoon at "la casita"
At the start of 2017, we had the great pleasure of spending an afternoon at ‘la casita’ (the little house), a pretty toy library in Alto whose name was chosen by the children who use it. We took the opportunity to meet Maria Teresa Alvarez, a Bolivian who runs the toy library, which opened in 2001. Maria, who lives alone with her two daughters, runs this wonderful play area with great energy and enthusiasm. The library has been expanded, and now boasts no fewer than 370 educational games!
The games library is open 4 days a week (Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday). Each new child can sign up for an afternoon of games for the sum of 50 centavos (1 boliviano <=> approximately 0.13 euros). At 31 January 2016, C.I.E.L.O, which runs the games library, had registered 5,271 different people since it opened.
In addition to welcoming children, a number of other initiatives have been launched, including the creation of a “toy trunk” that is taken to a remote garden once a week, the creation of an educational game on the importance of healthy eating, the organisation of film screenings, reading and sports activities on Saturdays, and the organisation of an annual games festival.
Are you interested in this project? Would you like to take part or even visit the toy library during your trip? Don’t hesitate to contact us!
Many thanks to Maria Teresa for her welcome and explanations, and to Patrick Bernard for his availability!