Movimiento Sonrisa was founded in 1997 by a group of high school students who saw the need to assist children from poor backgrounds staying in Cochabamba’s main public hospital who often lacked emotional support and urgently needed funds to pay for their medical care. The Movement initially started as a voluntary initiative to assist one child who required an operation but whose family could not afford to pay for it: the group organized various activities around the city to raise the necessary funds. It has now expanded to include a team of volunteers who spend time in children’s wards providing general care and assistance to many children, while fundraising activities continue behind the scenes. So, do you want to volunteer to assist children in hospitals in Bolivia?
The Movimiento aims to address the needs of as many young patients in the hospital as possible by organizing games, helping with schoolwork and educational activities, feeding and giving general emotional support in various wards around the hospital. These children may not have family members who can visit them regularly, and may have to stay in the hospital for several months as they receive their treatment. A team of volunteers work at different times around the clock spending time with the children. The Movimiento also runs a small hostel within the hospital for the parents of children, providing beds, meals and in some cases clothing to those who live in the countryside outside Cochabamba and who have no other place to stay while they look after their children.
The Movimiento Sonrisa’s two objectives are: to assist young hospital patients who lack family support as they undergo operations and recovery, and to raise money in the local community and abroad to pay for medical care for children whose families cannot afford it.
|Minimum commitment||1 month|
|Related knowledge/skills||Interest in working with children|
|Interest in working in a hospital environment|
|Motivation and desire to help|