SUNY Oneonta for Save the Children Bolivia
Organized by: Brett Heindl
May 18, 2016
EVENT DATE May 02, 2016
1996 changed my life. I spent a semester in Cochabamba, Bolivia where I studied international development. I lived with a wonderful family, the Leons, who treated me as one of their own as I struggled with the language, homesickness, digestive horrors, and most of all, with the crushing poverty that my 20 year old self could barely comprehend. During those four months, I realized that it was only by some karmic accident that I was born into a comfortable middle-class American life; so many others were not as lucky. I came back from Bolivia with an incandescent certainty that I had to do something.
SUNY Oneonta for Bolivia
Twenty years later, I have the chance to finally do that something. I have the privilege of taking some of the finest college students I have ever met to Bolivia in May 2016, thanks to the support of my family, the indulgence of my employer, SUNY Oneonta, and help from my colleague and friend Alejandra Escudero-Retana.
We're bringing 22 SUNY Oneonta students to Bolivia to volunteer three weeks of our time and energy with Save the Children International.
Save the Children, headed by a good friend and former Oneontan, Daphne Sorensen, is doing inspiring work promoting the rights of children - to survive preventable diseases, to receive an adequate education, and to be protected from abuse and neglect. In all, they're working to make sure that the children of Bolivia have more and better choices in this world.
How the Funds Will Be Used
As a part of this trip, we are raising money that we will donate directly to Save the Children in Bolivia. In a recent Skype conversation, Daphne mentioned that SCIB had recently opened a child protection office in Cochabamba's only detention center for adolescents, but lacked the funds needed to fix the crumbling ceiling or to install a working bathroom. She also told us about another challenge. SCIB has been improving maternal and neonatal health in the city of Oruro for years. They had had to decline a request to expand the number of workshops because their annual operating budget had already been committed to other projects.