Program Updates

"It was one of the high points of my life."

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Sponsor Barbara Stanford and student Janelle Aspi share a post-music moment.

The Joys of Sponsorship

When my aunt died, she left my mother a small legacy.   We decided that the best way to honor her memory was to sponsor a couple of Bolivian students who shared some of her qualities—a love of music and a love of children.

After corresponding with our two students, I had the great pleasure of going to Bolivia on the Quaker Study and Service Tour and meeting them at a potluck the entire group of scholarship students hosted for our group.  Maritza greeted me warmly and tried to explain to me about her curriculum in linguistics and teacher training. Janelle came in later with her Christian Mariachi Band which entertained our whole group.  It was one of the high points of my life.

A Lifelong Love of Learning

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Nancy Mamani Aspi in front of her home

Nancy Mamani Aspi comes from a family committed to education – her father is a teacher, her three siblings have stayed in school despite challenges.

In high school Nancy received a music scholarship so she could learn guitar, charango, and music theory.  She still loves music and practices guitar in her free time. Nancy was also chosen while still in high school to represent the indigenous young people of the Department of La Paz in a congress of eight Latin American countries held in Guatemala. The theme of the meeting was “Peace”.

What Are These Kids Doing Up So Late? Working on Their Future!

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Albertina and a T-shirt with her original design, ready to sell to help pay for a field trip

Working till 2:00 a.m. to fill orders might not be every teenager’s first choice, but that’s what David, Juana and William decided to do (unknown to we adults until the next morning) on my last night in Sorata this past trip. They were silk-screening designs on T-shirts requested by recent Study Tour visitors from California, determined to complete as many as possible for me to bring back to the US. I delivered them at a group reunion the next week, to everyone’s delight.

Call for Volunteers

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Art therapy workshop 2007

In our very first year, students at Friends schools and colleges as well as other adults began asking to volunteer.  Now they range in age from middle-school students in family groups to retired professionals.  Volunteers help with school and adult ed classes (especially English), and come home amazed at the richness of their experience. In 2011 one family with three teens participated, a doctoral student spent a full year, and a retired teacher from the UK spent four months.

Not ready for the Andes just yet? We also need volunteers for document translation, regional committees, and spreading the word about this work.

Do you have time and talent to share in support of Bolivian Friends education?  If you’d like to experience the joy and growth of volunteering on behalf of Friends in Bolivia, please send us an email at office_ (at)_bqef.org.

Teachers, Engineers, and more: meet Nadir, Martin, and f/Friends

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2010 saw our largest class of scholarship graduates ever -  13 students completed their coursework in June, and 6 in November.  They are very, very grateful for the funds from the North that made this possible.  I thought you would like to see a little more of what these young people have accomplished and are aiming at.  Please enjoy these photographs and thumbnail sketches of 4 of them.

Juan José Choque Quispe, Dentistry. Juan was part of a team that put together a health and hygiene education program for impoverished schools. 

 

Ronald Huanca Quispe, Sorata Chess Champ

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Ronald and Richard playing chess

Ronald, 18, speaks Aymara and is in his final year at the “General Enrique Penaranda” public high school. He is one of the brightest students at the Internado in Sorata. Ronald is from a community on the altiplano called Cocoyo, which is four hours by car from Sorata.  Buses only run on Saturday and Sunday, so he goes home just one or two times per year. His father works in a cooperative gold mine near Cocoyo, and his mother farms. On school vacations, Ronald works in the mine with his father.

Agronomists, Educators, Social Workers: grads Benjamin, Janelle, Rosa and Sara

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Benjamin, Janelle, Rosa and Sara

13 students graduated this June (mid-year: the Bolivian school year runs February - November), and 14 new students began studying with help from BQEF's donors. Below are highlights of 4 of the recent grads (more coming soon).

 

 

 

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"Wow, to Think That Our Job as Facilitators is to Empower Others!": AVP Update

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Working together Basic 3

Facilitators have been trained in 3 cities, and several teams have learned the skills needed to present content and run a Basic or Advanced workshop --- the mechanics and logistics of planning, organizing and setting up a gathering of 12 to 20 people for a three-day workshop.

The Bolivian facilitators and Jens Braun developed a strategy whereby local teams will organize about 10 simultaneous workshops in June in five to eight locations.  Jorge Arauz from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting will be on-hand afterwards for a gathering of all facilitators to evaluate, share, and learn from each other.  There are other requests for workshops between now and June, and Bolivan facilitators will be leading these independent of North American logistical support.

Education Grads Submit Multi-Culturalism Pamphlet to Bolivian National Education Department

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Multi-Culturalism Pamphlet Cover

Pánfilo Chura Aliaga (now preparing his thesis, with scholarship support from BQEF) and Rosemery Mamani Mamani (Education Sciences graduate and former scholarship student), co-wrote “Inter-Culturalism as a Complementary Construction”, a pamphlet they have submitted to the Bolivian National Education Department for review and use. The pamphlet topic is intended for the country’s new educational initiatives and is an academic discussion of one of the big themes in Bolivia today: how do you work together effectively in a country where there are so many cultures?

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