Today, April 12, we celebrate “Children’s Day” where we celebrate and reflect on children’s rights here in Bolivia. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) outlines the important rights that all children should have: access to education, the right to health care, a safe environment, no child labor, no hunger, protection against diseases and space for recreation. In Bolivia, we have not quite achieved success in securing all of these rights for children.
In the daily work we do in the remote villages of Bolivia, we often encounter all kinds of situations that are not ideal for children. Even if children are able to attend school, often times their schools lack adequate infrastructure and teachers.
But even in these difficult circumstances, you see children who like to go to school, to spend time with their friends and teachers, and have fun. They find a way to make the most out of what they have and don’t feel held back at all.
Children’s learning conditions are far from ideal and must be improved. Together, alongside with local stakeholders and international allies, we are working on that.
But at the same time, we can also sense that these children, although they are young, understand how to live a meaningful life. They realize that they are each members of their communities, among their teachers, their friends, and their families. This is what gives them strength and the ability to withstand setbacks.
Their philosophy of life, although not necessarily aligned with western thinking, should not be abandoned.