After working in Switzerland for almost 2 years in a school for children with special needs, I decided to go to Bolivia to discover the same kind of work in another country. Sustainable Bolivia allows people to work with kids that have disabilities in Centro Nuevo Horizontes. In this centre they have a day care for children from 2 years old up to teenagers.
At the moment, there are 15 children with different handicaps. In the centre there are 4 kindergarten teachers, 2 volunteers and 1 physiotherapist.
A normal day begins with the bus picking up the children home around 8am. After, we give the kids breakfast and we help them brush their teeth. We also have a morning ritual where we sing songs with them in circle. After that, the physiotherapist works with the children individually. The others play with the children or go walking with them. They don’t necessarily have the opportunity to do it at home.
I had the chance to work a lot with the physiotherapist. She showed me different ways to work with the children that have cerebral paralysis which was very interesting.
When the playtime is over we go for lunch. There, the kids need a lot of help, so we feed them and give them drinks and sometimes you have to be very creative to succeed. Then, they have a break and they can play on their own or lay down. At the end of the day, we always have to shower them because of the heat. We prepare everything to put them in the bus that gets them back home between 2 and 3pm.
This experience showed me the difference between this type of centre in Switzerland and here in Riberalta. They don’t have much possibilities, but they are doing their best with what they have, and I find it very impressive. I also felt sad for the children who won’t have the opportunities to live independently. In my opinion, it is very important to have a place for these children to be safe and for parents to have a break and help to take care of them because it is not an easy work. I was very happy to have had the opportunity to work there.