Focus 2023

Bolivia - BOL13-12-2023

Students build skills with 14 new computers

Students attending the Madre Cándida Center, located in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, have new computer equipment thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. The funding provided 14 new computers to improve the computer laboratory which had obsolete and outdated equipment.

With the donation, students are now more comfortable in class and are working with equipment that helps prepare them for the job market and their careers. There are 125 students who access technical training offered by the center. They take courses in cutting and dress making, comprehensive beauty skills, executive secretarial work, machine embroidery and computer systems. Twenty students in the computer systems course will benefit most from the donation.

A Salesian said, “Our students come from low-income families from the municipalities of Yapacaní in the Ichilo province. They do not have sufficient financial resources to enter the university or emigrate to the city to be able to pursue a degree at the undergraduate level, which is why they choose to study a technical degree near their communities. We are hoping with these new computers we also will be able to increase enrollment into the computer systems course.”

Alicia Segarra Sullca, age 17, is in the sixth level of secondary school, and her sister Gabriela is in the fourth level. Both study at the Don Bosco School in San German. In the afternoons, they study computer systems at the Madre Cándida Center. The Sullca sisters also live at the Madre Cándida Center boarding school because they come from a small community far from San German.

The Salesian added, “Alicia and Gabriela are grateful for the computers. They would also like to have internet at the boarding school to access information for their homework. They aspire to be professionals to have a better quality of life for themselves and their family.”

Bolivia is the poorest country in South America and has the most unequal income distribution on the continent. According to the World Bank, the poverty rate was 35% in 2018. It is common for Bolivians to struggle to find adequate nutrition, shelter and other basic necessities. The geography of Bolivia contributes to the overwhelming poverty of its residents. Large swaths of the country remain undeveloped with a lack of roads and infrastructure.

Source: Salesian Missions