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Greetings from Cochabamba,

With the many natural disasters and political upheavals throughout the world, the issues facing us here in Bolivia have not really been brought to the forefront internationally. For us as a foundation, this month has been rewarding, joyful, challenging and heart-wrenching. There has been so much going on here this past month on a national and local level, in addition to what we've been doing within the foundation, we've barely had time to catch our breath.

There have been transportation strikes and blockades for days on end, sugar shortages, flour shortages, flooding in the surrounding valleys, and massive land slides in La Paz and in the tropical region of Cochabamba. During most of this, we've had a team visiting from the Toronto area, and they've had to face all of this while trying to navigate the rains, constantly changing schedules due to the strikes and a chronically tardy architect. They've been positive, flexible, willing to try lots of new things, great with our babies and our girls, hard-working and dedicated to finishing their laundry room and storage area that they built for PDC.

We ask that you join us in praying for this country, for the many whom have lost their homes and their livelihood, the staff and volunteers as we serve our children, trying our best to instill in them the values, morals, and sense of self-worth that will empower them to surmount any challenge that may lie in their future, and for our children that they will internalize what they've learned and integrate it into their every day lifestyle.

Peace and Love,

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February proved to be quite the emotional rollercoaster at CDP. We began the month by celebrating Camila's quinceañera, although she was quite nervous, she did very well and the party was a lovely event. The next day we celebrated Mariela's 9th birthday- it's hard to believe just how big she is getting, she's already surpassing her older sister!

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Above: Camila asked that all her "damas" be the girls from the home. She also opted to dance the waltz as opposed to the disco suggested by Tio Tyson.

For Valentine's Day, the afternoon school group got to go to Colegio Calvert for a big party complete with a magic show, snacks, Valentine's Day cards and a special lunch. A huge thanks to teacher, Joel Wise and his students for planning a wonderful day to share with our girls.

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Above Left: Some of our girls with the Calvert kids on their awesome slides
Above Right: The girls with Tia Clare after receiving their Valentine's Day cards.

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Above Left: The girls were treated to a magic show, which they greatly enjoyed.
Above Right: Having some lunch North American style.

We had a team of university students and young adults arrive from The Embassy in the Toronto area. They had little time to rest and get settled in before they were decorating for Ana's quinceañera. Everything looked lovely, and the biggest surprise of the evening was definitely Ana's entrance as she descended the stairs in a full gown looking very much the part of the princess. It was spectacular to see Ana come out of her shell and allow herself to enjoy a party that was all about being focused on her, which isn't something she's normally comfortable with. Everyone had a blast, and the team's enthusiastic dance moves definitely helped set the party atmosphere.

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Above Left: Ana's youngest sister Vanesa.
Above Right: Ana with her mom, and sisters Elena and Vanesea.

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Above Left: Ana with Tia Jackie.
Above Right: And with good friend and recent quinceañera, Sofia.

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Above: Ana chose blue as her color, and looked absolutely stunning - a real princess for a day.

Despite all these wonderful highlights, we ended February on a very difficult and sad note as we got word on the 27th that the judge had ordered a provisional six month placement for Camila with her sister. While we had been investigating this possibility for awhile, we had some serious reservations, but the judge, quite by surprise, ordered this reinsertion. We had but a few hours to help her pack and have an impromptu good-bye party for her. The whole house was in shock and there were lots of tears shed as we said farewell. The youngest ones were very confused at what was happening, and the older girls seemed unsettled that someone that had become a sister over these past four years could just be up and moved in such a brusque manner.

One of our concerns is that now that she is of working age, the family will require her to work so much that it will interfere with her studies.We are praying that Camila will remain strong and true to who she knows she really is. Please join us in asking that she will stay safe, be well cared for, and will continue to do well in her studies.

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Above Left: Camila and Nohemi were especially close.
Above Right: Tio Tyson saying goodbye.

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Above Left: All of the girls and volunteers in turn said emotional farewells.
Above Right: The last was Sonia, the social worker, who will be keeping in touch with Camila to make sure all is well.

Ending on a more positive note, the team had a wonderful time with the girls doing different arts and crafts projects, and games. They did a great job painting our dining room- a much needed improvement as the humidity damage here seems ever present!

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Above: The Embassy team had lots of indoor and outdoor fun with the girls of CDP, so when they went, it was hard for both team members and the girls to say good-bye. It just means they have to come back soon!

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We also had a number of birthdays to celebrate in PDC this month. Guillermo kicked off the month as we celebrated his 3rd birthday. He later on in the month had a catheterization done to determine how his heart was doing and if he would need replacements stents sooner rather than later. The preparation for his stay in the hospital brought back those feelings of the dread of having your child's well-being outside of your control and praying for the best possible outcome. We did indeed get great news- he'll not need to replace the stents until he's about 6 or 7, and he was released from the hospital days early because he was doing so well.

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Above Left: Alarico getting a little crazy at Guillermo's birthday party :)
Above Right: Guillermo very happy being the birthday boy.

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Above Left: Volunteer Sarah with our newest daycare child, Aletia.
Above Right: Victoria really enjoying her gelatin.

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Above Left: Bemabe checking out his goody box.
Above Right: Marcos sporting the necklace he made in kindergarten.

The following week we had Manolo's 4th birthday party, and then shortly after we celebrated Alarico's 1st birthday- a major milestone here in Bolivia. Everyone had a blast, and our kids are really getting good at the piñata.

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Above: Miguel and Victoria are all smiles at Manolo's party.

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Above Left: Mateo being generous with his popcorn.
Above Right: However, Zaquiel's looking pretty protective of his cake...

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Above Left: is Lily.
Above Right: One of our new night tias, Sara, partying with Mateo.

We also welcomed a new tía, Sara, to the PDC team. She genuinely enjoys being with the kids, always with a smile on her face, and we're hoping that she proves to be the right fit for our team for the long haul.

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Above: Raeka and Victoria catching some air on the swings.

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Above Left: Alarico getting ready to dig into his 1st birthday cake.
Above Right: Manolo (with Tia Jackie hiding behind) showing off his birthday outfit.

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Above: Embassy team members doing crafts with the kiddos

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Above Left: Some of the kiddos and Tia Evelin learning how to play hot potato.
Above Right: A picture of the shed which, once we make the electirical and plumbing connections, will hold our laundry room and storage room - and its Bolivian-style portable!

The Embassy team was a welcomed presence at Pedacito as they brought lots of fun and games, crafts and songs, and a brand new laundry room and storage space! They faced a lot of challenges in finishing the shed, but they never gave up hope, and they have a fabulous space to be very proud of for all of their perseverance.

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What an incredible month for the OAT program! The team got to go out to the families we work with, and got to bless them with much needed school supplies, and we also got to encourage Zandra as she prepares to begin law school. It was very sweet to see how excited Jackie is for her, as she'll be attending her alma mater, and all the little pieces of advice she had for Zandra as she embarks on a huge journey. We were also glad to see that the grandmother is doing much better with her knee and is starting to be able to walk more independently.

We had our doubts about being able to get to Mizque this time around with the transportation strikes and flooding in many areas, but we made it without incident. This visit marked an important milestone in our development of the One Child at a Time program. In conjunction with the municipality of Mizque, we hosted a training for the teachers of rural daycare centers located in very remote areas around Mizque. Our head teacher, Evelín and our doctor, Marcelo, were the trainers for the day and presented much needed information and resources to these educators who were hungry for the information we had to present them. The entire day was a huge success and all involved saw the need to be able to continue to present trainings throughout the year. It was great to see how open and participatory the group was, and people were sharing and freely asking questions; a lot was learned and discovered through this process which will help plan our next sessions.

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Above and Below Left: Evelín checked her nerves at the door and was a hit with the daycare workers.
Above and Below Right: Using hands-on activities, the lessons should stick and be easily replicable in the classroom.

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While Evelín had her training in the afternoon, the team along with the doctor and some of the NCV crew, headed out to Buena Vista, a community just outside of Mizque to do an outreach event and offer medical attention to the children of the community. We were welcomed to the community with a presentation of dances from various areas around Bolivia, a few recitations and a humorous song about school. After their presentations we began our part of the event and these children were by far the most boisterous and outgoing group we've worked with, as we usually need to work hard to convince them to participate. These kids on the other hand jumped (literally) into every activity we had planned!

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Above Left: We arrived to some very exciting song and dance performances by the children. Here, a more traditional dance from the area.
Above Right: A traditional dance from Santa Cruz (it's much hotter there, as evidenced by their costumes)

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Above: The children of Buena Vista are simply beautiful. However, we noticed that despite being closer to Mizque and the larger health care facilities, the overall health of the kids was actually some of the worse we have seen to date.

Apparently we didn't specify quite clearly enough about the medical visits being for children, because the elderly were the first in line to see the doctor. Unfortunately we hadn't planned for that, and we didn't have the appropriate medications to treat them, but many of them were needing a sympathetic ear more than anything else. Dr. Marcelo saw a few very tough cases that were well beyond what we could provide in the improvised exam room, and we're still trying to find solutions to these very serious medical issues, as what they need are specialist care that would only be available to them in Cochabamba. Those of us who had made previous visits to Mizque were struck by the large numbers of severely malnourished children, and even more striking was the fact that the majority of the mothers didn't see the condition of their children as something that would deem medical attention. This was just a confirmation that continued trainings, and follow-up visits are going to be vital in our community outreach work.

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Above Left: Darren and Andrea from the Embassy team helped paint faces.
Above Right: Dr. Marcelo saw dozens of children and adults. Here, a boy with microcephaly is checked over. His only hope to receive all the care he will need is in the city of Cochabamba.

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Above Left: Julia looks up from face-painting.
Above Right: Heather helps give out gifts to the children of the community and surrounding area.

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Above Left: Bubbles and skipping ropes were a hit!
Above Right: Tyson having a serious chat with Freddy.

The following day we headed out 2.5 hours outside of Mizque to Calera, a small community high up in the mountains. We were again welcomed by the children doing some traditional dances for us, and we all enjoyed their presentations. We were also very impressed with the two teachers. For as strict and rigid as the professors were in Buena Vista, they were caring and supportive of their students here, and you could tell that there was a great relationship with between teachers and students.

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Above Left: The children of Calera waiting for the festivities to start.
Above Right: The older group of children doing their dance.

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Above Left: The younger group doing the 'Carnavalito'.
Above Right: A special dance and lip-sync number.

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Above: Team members doing some hand and face painting.

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Above: Two of the girls that came in to see Dr. Marcelo. Guess it's a good sign if they're still smiling afterward!

The team had lots of fun painting faces, and of course the parachute was a huge hit yet again. Handing out the toys and the bags of food is always a memorable event as you see the faces of the children light up as they receive their toy and then run off to join the little circles of friends showing off what they got. Knowing the coming shortages of food because of the flooding now, the dry goods that we were able to give are more of a blessing than ever.

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Above Left: One of several children we saw that have vision problems.
Above Right: Dr. Marcelo with a very young mother of 14 and her ill child.

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Above: This is the center of the village with community buildings and the school surrounding the 'plaza'.

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Above Left: The boys waiting really well in line to receive their toys.
Above Right: Megan handing out a bag of food to one of the mothers.

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Above Left: While we traditionally give the bags of food to the mothers, there are households with just a father, so we made sure they were overlooked.
Above Right: She's looking ready to start the senior's soccer league!

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Above Left: Some of the girls of the village showing off their new toys.
Above Right: We were so impressed with these teachers, we were glad to be able to give them the extra food bags to be able to help prepare food for the students, because we knew it would be put to good use.

There is so much need in these communities and the many more that we haven't been able to visit just yet, but as this is a relatively new program, we do not have regular funding and are only able to do outreaches and trainings as finances allow. If you would like to give to this very important work, you can do so through our website.

We hope you have enjoyed the photos and stories this month. It seems we say this every month, but we honestly do have so much going on, we want to share it all with you!

Returning to our opening reflection, we again ask for your prayers, prayers for both the country and our children as they both continue to face many challenges. However, as we enter the Lenten season, and we ponder the life of Jesus, we find comfort and strength in He who triumphs over all obstacles. Amen!

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Keep up to date with what is happening in NCV on our blog. You can also catch up on previous newsletters here. Enjoy!

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If you are in the US, you can either send a check made out to "Ninos con Valor" to the address below, or use our Groundspring online donation page.

Niños con Valor
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We know that God loves kids too, so please keep us in your prayers, using these updates as a bit of a guide on what is happening, or by writing us here. We send out weekly prayer requests to those who join our prayermail list. We really appreciate the support!


  Learn More about our Projects

All of our programs seek to provide holistic care, as well as integrate children and families living with various physical and mental health issues, including HIV/AIDS.


Our home that provides care for up to 24 girls who have been orphaned, abandoned or removed from high-risk situations.


Our baby home for up to 12 children, and daycare for up to 12 more, who have been orphaned, abandoned or removed from high-risk situations.


Our program working with families and communities to strengthen community care of children and to prevent family disintegration.

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