Giving Hope To Those Who Need It Most. The mission of Foundation Arco Iris (FAI) is to provide healthcare to the indigent population in La Paz, Bolivia, including an estimated 30,000 children living or working on the streets.
Built in 2001 by the Foundation Arco Iris, Hospital Arco Iris (HAI) is a 100-bed non-profit teaching hospital serving more than 150,000 patients a year, 60 percent which are children. The hospital aims to fight discrimination and social exclusion of poor and homeless children, teenagers and young adults that live and work in the streets of La Paz.
The Immediate Need
Because Bolivia is the second poorest country in South America, 90 percent of its patients are impoverished and half of these consultations and hospitalizations are provided at no cost or for a very low fee.
The hospital also takes healthcare to the children who live on the streets. Each week a mobile healthcare unit takes compassionate and qualified healthcare professionals and supplies directly to the children.
Our Partners in Bringing Hope to the Helpless
FAI is a comprehensive social program serving orphans and vulnerable children in La Paz. The organization was founded more than 20 years ago by a German priest who devoted his life to building orphanages, and incorporating compassionate social and vocational programs to serve the children struggling to survive on the city’s streets.
FAI programs include seven orphanages, multiple day-care centers, social services, vocational training and educational programs.
As part of its programs, FAI provide housing, food, clothing and shelter to 300 orphans each year. More than 900 children receive daily social services and another 1,500 are assisted with school support. An additional 4,000 children annually receive social, psychological or legal assistance.
Occasionally God allows us opportunities to experience the full joy of giving to others – this event was one of those times. Foundation Arco Iris, HOPE worldwide’s partner in La Paz, Bolivia, chose 20 of the poorest families of the 120 families we support.
These families are the poorest of the poor. Many do not have running water, electricity or adequate homes. They don’t have food, clothing and certainly not enough money for Christmas gifts.
We provided “víveres,” which means life-giving food such as rice, beans, sugar, salt, oil. In addition, clothing and wrapped gifts were distributed for each family member.
We were overwhelmed with the generosity of those who donated clothing; including USAID, the American Embassy and several friends within the local community. There was enough clothing donated to provide for all 120 families. We were overjoyed to give to those who needed it most. Together with these families, we shed tears of gratitude for our many blessings and the opportunity to give in such a special way.
A young mother shared her thankfulness and a prayer request that God would bless us. From her poverty and gratitude she prayed that we would be blessed – wow! The HOPE worldwide Bolivia team believes that her prayer has already been answered.