After almost a week in Sucre, our International Director of Programs, Luis Bourdet, and I were winding down our visits to our affiliated sites, with only two left before we would leave Bolivia. Up until then, all the sites we had visited were schools or afterschool centers, but now, we were visiting the one site we work with that is a group home for girls in need.
Located in the city center of Sucre, the Santa Clotilde Home is unassuming from the outside, looking just like our other sites when standing on the street. Large doors and a high wall hid the interior buildings from view for security, but once we walked inside, we really got to see just how vast the property is.
Not only did our volunteer coordinator, Jhanneth, greet us at the door, but so did all the sponsored girls in our program, who were lined up wearing colorful outfits and holding balloons. We entered through a narrow lobby into a beautiful courtyard, surrounded by study rooms, activity rooms, dormitories, a kitchen and other administrative offices — everything the girls needed to live at Santa Clotilde full-time. Jhanneth explained to Luis and me that the girls attend local public schools, but the home was very focused on offering vocational training so the girls could learn fun and valuable skills while growing up here, such as sewing and cooking.
Vital support for vulnerable girls
Before Jhanneth gave us a tour of the home, the girls presented Luis and me with small gifts they had made themselves, showing off the amazing skills they had with arts and crafts. They then performed dances, played guitar and sang for us — all activities that were a regular part of their routine at Santa Clotilde. Jhanneth even had a music teacher come in each week to work with the girls in the afternoons after school.
After their presentation, we had a chance to see where the girls lived, which had been divided into areas based on their ages and were designated by colors. Younger girls lived in the pink room while older girls lived in the green and purple rooms. Each color room had a lead girl who was in charge of helping the other girls keep their beds and lockers tidy, which gave them a sense of responsibility they were very proud of. As we walked between the dorm rooms, Jhanneth explained to Luis and me that these girls were some of the more vulnerable children in all of Sucre. Some of them had at some point been abandoned by their parents, some soon after birth, and they had no family to return to. Others were removed from their homes due to alcoholism or abuse by their caretakers. She went on to say that it was vital that they receive support from the home, and from Children Incorporated sponsors, to make sure they grow up in a safe and loving environment.
An amazing home full of love
Our tour ended in the kitchen of the home, where all the girls were waiting for us to join them for a delicious lunch, prepared by the staff of the home. Each of the girls helped set the tables, pour juice, and then clean up plates after we were done eating. The scene was lively as the girls giggled and told jokes to us through our meal.
I couldn’t help but have a huge smile on my face seeing them enjoy themselves so much in this amazing home, where they had everything they needed, including a family of peers and caring adults who looked out for them each and every day.
How do I sponsor a child with Children Incorporated?
You can sponsor a child in one of three ways: call our office at 1-800-538-5381 and speak with one of our staff members; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org; or go online to our sponsorship portal, create an account, and search for a child that is available for sponsorship.