Niños con Valor (NCV) was founded in 2005 to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of children with difficult and often traumatic pasts, empowering them to move beyond their circumstances, realize their full potential and pass on the values and skills learned to other children in need.
Currently, we have 3 active projects, all of them around marginalized children care volunteering in Bolivia, concretly in Cochabamba.
Since the end of 2005, NCV has been serving some of Cochabamba’s most marginalized children, and learning a lot along the way. In 2006 we opened our first home, Corazón del Pastor. In 2007 we launched our rural outreach, One Child at a Time. Then, in 2008 we opened Bolivia’s first residential and daycare facility focused on serving children living with and/or affected by HIV/AIDS. We have since expanded the focus of our homes to be ones of inclusion and integration for all children regardless of their special needs.
Currently, we continue to serve through these three projects, while we seek funding for a street outreach to young women and a large-scale community project.
Our goal is to provide children a high-quality, holistic care with an individual focus aimed at breaking cycles of abuse and poverty, while providing our children with a hopeful future. This is accomplished through the 3 key elements to our work: Prevention, Intervention and Training.
Who does NCV Help?
We help children who have been orphaned, abandoned or abused. We help children and families suffering the symptoms of poverty. We help staff working with children. We do our best to respond to the needs of the HIV/AIDS community and the rights of young women in Bolivia. There are currently 34 children living in our homes, and we work with hundreds of families and children through our rural outreach.
The two homes we run, which are described below, are both located centrally in the city of Cochabamba. Volunteers are welcome to eat there during their shifts.
Pedacito de Cielo (PDC) is our home and daycare for children 0-5 years old. The majority of these children are living with and/or affected by HIV/AIDS or other immunodeficiencies, and all come from backgrounds of having lost their parents, been abandoned, or been removed from high-risk family situations.
Corazón del Pastor (CDP) is our home for girls 0-18. As our future goal is to have all of our programs integrating children with special needs, this home has begun to receive children with various educational and health-related challenges, including HIV. Currently, 75% of our girls are over 10 years old, so the focus is increasingly on responding to mental health issues that surface during puberty and preparing them for the future.
One Child at a Time (OAT) is our rural outreach program serving families and communities on the outskirts of Cochabamba and far off in the Municipality of Mizque. The main purpose of this program is to improve the living situations of impoverished children through support provided to the families and communities they are a part of.
Volunteer/internship opportunities include:
- Providing direct support to the staff of PDC and CDP
- Implementing mini-programs within the homes (these depend on the volunteer – we have had volunteers teach aerobics, English and computers, we have had others do PhotoVoice and art projects – the sky is the limit)
- Providing training in your area of expertise to our staff and the staff of other governmental and non-governmental agencies.
- Working with volunteers on promotion, website maintenance, newsletters and other communications-related projects for NCV in general
- 40 hours a week commitment
- Minimum stay of 3 months
- 21 years old and up.
- Intermediate Spanish (we ask for a minimum of 6-weeks intensive language studies for those who arrive with only basic-level Spanish)
- A genuine love of and desire to serve children and teens
An open spirit that is willing to learn and accept new concepts and ways of doing things, respect cultural and religious differences, with a willingness to incorporate themselves into the environment in which they are placed