Bolivia entertains its children with festivities and demands of their rights

Children's Day has a special significance in Bolivia every 12th of April, with a multitude of tributes organized from private institutions and companies to the family to claim the rights of minors.

The celebration was instituted in Bolivia in 1955 and since 2013 on April 12 is the Day of the Girl and the Boy to make visible the situation of the minors.

Celebrations this year include organized entertainment in schools and foster homes involving teachers, students at higher levels, state institutions and private companies.

The Government also joined the tributes with the approval of a law to facilitate the procedures of adoption of minors, while the Parliament held a special session with children.

One of the main concerns in Bolivia is to reduce school dropouts, for which, since 2006, an annual bonus of $ 28 has been awarded to schoolchildren.

According to official data, in 2005, six out of every 100 students in regular education abandoned their studies, while in 2018, only three do so.

The importance of the education of girls and boys is not exclusive of the authorities, since the private sector is also aware that it must focus its efforts on corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues in this area.

So says Efe the general manager of the Bolivian Spanish company Maxam-Fanexa, Arístides Álvarez, a firm that has been running the Aporta Project since 2007.

With this initiative, the company aims to ensure that children from rural areas remain in school, by improving their environment with small incentives that make it more pleasant.

Precisely within the project, the workers of Maxam-Fanexa entertained for the Day of the Child to more than 600 children of the municipality of Santiváñez, in the central region of Cochabamba, with balls and dental hygiene material.

This celebration is already a tradition within the Aporta Project, but it is not the only activity carried out by the company with this community that hosts one of its production plants.

Maxam-Fanexa centers its action in Santiváñez, although not in the urban area, which has more means, "but we go to areas a little further away," said Álvarez.

According to the executive, the condition of some schools "is quite sad", so the firm believes that any contribution, even if it seems small, will be useful.

Therefore, part of the assistance, while promoting recycling, includes disused barrels that have a new life as garbage dumps in schools.

"There are times when they also ask us for support to build bathrooms, because there are situations that are a bit complicated, there is a school that has two bathrooms for two hundred students," he said.

The aim is to "improve the living conditions of these children and try to give them something that contributes to them and that makes them want to go to school again, because without education, nothing will improve," Álvarez said.

The company is aware that it is necessary to support people so that they can develop professionally and personally "from the beginning", since they are children.

"A child who is not able to study, who does not have the chance to hit that jump, but stays at home, will never leave that environment (...) If you give them opportunities to study , so that they have means and get out of there, they will grow without any doubt, "he said.

Maxam-Fanexa is a joint stock company formed in 1999 by the Spanish company Maxam and the Bolivian Corporación de las Fuerzas Armadas para el Desarrollo Nacional (Cofadena), which manufactures explosives and blasting accessories for mining and public works.

For Alvarez, any company that is in environments that need help must act in that sense, something that Maxam does in other places like Peru or Africa.

The Aporta Project also reaches other areas of the community, such as mothers' clubs where Maxam-Fanexa delivers recycled material that women use to make bags, ornaments and other objects that they then sell.

The solidarity arm of the firm also extends in specific situations, such as the floods that occurred in 2018 in the Bolivian city of Tupiza and in the Cochabamba town of Tiquipaya, or the recurring floods in the Amazonian region of Beni.

In addition, they have delivered school materials and food to "The Children's House", a shelter in Cochabamba.

Only in 2018, the Aporta Project reached 80 families in Tupiza, 17 in Tiquipaya, reached 591 children in Santiváñez and 50 women with the donation of material for handicrafts.


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