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Greetings from Cochabamba,

In this newsletter, we have chosen to focus on our transitional project, which now has been given a name: Sendero de Esperanza (The Path of Hope). Many say it takes decades and a lot of love from others to become an adult. Over the coming year, the three oldest girls at NCV will be preparing to enter the world of adulthood. At Niños con Valor, there are quite a few others in line behind these three pioneers. It is so important for us to dream about "The Path of Hope" for these three, because most of the children at NCV will travel this path.

At the same time, we expect to be learning a great deal as we move forward with the transitional program as we have planned it, and will compare the realities we meet with our dreams. If you would like, you may explore our plan by checking out the Sendero de Esperanza section on the NCV website, but in this newsletter we will introduce you to the three pioneers begin their walk along their sendero de esperanza.

We are also including photo updates of everyday life in both homes to help you see how the kids are growing, and a bit more of what their days have been like over the past month.

Peace and Love,



Sendero de Esperanza

A part of our mission to transform lives, one child at a time, involves preparing each child for the time when they will no longer live with us. As the children who live with us at NCV get older, we now have a plan to help them prepare to emerge into the "real world" where they must successfully complete the transition to self-sufficiency in order to function as adults. Over a six-year time frame, we will explore with them concerns like job readiness, any needs for educational support and tutoring, developing time management skills, career pathway exploration, creating access to community resources, parenting education and skills development and finally, education about sexual health and family planning. All of these elements have been deemed necessary components for a successful transitional program.

The transitional program will consist of two main elements: a program for the physical, emotional and mental preparation of becoming an adult that will be started when each girl is around the age of twelve, and a physical house for the girls to live in once they turn eighteen. The purpose of the transitional house is to provide a stepping-stone for the girls into their adult life, so that they will not feel unprepared or abandoned when they are legally required to move out of Corazón del Pastor.

Since each of God's children is an individual, we know we will need to tailor the program to the needs of each individual. Many young adults in the foster care systems of the world have identified the need to have an active role in the decisions that influence their futures.

Olivia, Sofia, and Ana, who will be the first three girls to reach the age of 18, have been a part of the project's development, and recently helped us choose the name for the transitional program: Sendero de Esperanza (Path of Hope). They hope to move to their new home next January, when all three of them have turned 18. The girls chose this beautiful name to signify the path to maturity they are travelling and the hopes they have for their lives as they transition from the years they have been with us in Corazón del Pastor, supported by its structure and to a future with much more independence.

We interviewed each of the girls hoping to hear a little of their own perspective, their current situation, and their hopes for the transitional project. Their profiles can also be seen by clicking their photos found on the home page of the Niños con Valor website.

Olivia, though our oldest girl, still has three more years of high school ahead of her due to years of not attending prior to joining us at Corazón del Pastor. When she moves out of CDP, she plans on completing her secondary education and working part time. Olivia is a girl with many friends in Bolivia, Canada and the US, and she enjoys staying in touch with them through Facebook. Olivia's favorite subject in school is psychology. In the future, God willing, Olivia would like to study psychology at the university.

Besides the enjoyment she gets from using the computer, Olivia loves to draw and also enjoys using her secretarial skills. Her favorite memories of Corazón del Pastor are the vacations—to Sucre, Potosi, Oruro and Chapare. Olivia notes that the trip to Chapare, where she is originally from, was especially important, leaving her with many memories, and describing it as her favorite place. Right now, Olivia's favorite activities are reading and connecting with her friends on the Internet.

Sofia will finish high school in November of 2014. Her favorite subjects are mathematics and biology, and she plans to study business administration in the future. She also hopes to travel to every department of Bolivia, to Korea, to the United States, and to England.

A girl of many talents, Sofia is athletic, and loves basketball and volleyball. She also loves to read. A creative person, she loves to draw, and enjoys being creative with the younger girls at CDP. Sofia has also chosen to be a vegetarian.

One aspect of life at CDP stands out for Sofia. She emphasizes that she has really appreciated the help of the Tias whenever she has needed it, and has also treasured the support of Tio Tyson. In general, she has very much enjoyed living at CDP, sharing life with the other girls. Over the past 6 years, one of her favorite memories was her fiesta de quinceaƱos—her 15th birthday—which in Latin America is celebrated differently from any other birthday, as it marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood. To celebrate this event, CDP helped her prepare a big party with friends, family, and of course, dancing.

Each of the three girls expect that life within Sendero de Esperanza's transition house will be different, with just three living together. The girls have been used to sharing life with 20+ people, and "sólo tres" represents a huge change. In particular, Sofia is looking forward to deciding how to live together and share responsibilities, deciding who will cook and who will clean. She is glad to be able to continue a connection with NCV administration through the facilitator who will help guide this process, as she knows they will need this guidance and thinks that someone with life experience will be able to help them a lot.

Ana is excited about finishing high school in two years. While she is considering becoming a teacher, she is not yet sure about her professional goals. She does want to travel and see the world. Ana loves to draw and to paint, and to generally be creative.

She has been grateful to live at Corazón del Pastor, where she was welcomed with open arms. Here she was able to find many forms of support for getting an education, and now she has many friends here. Some of her favorite parts of living at Corazón have been the annual excursions to Mizque and her fiesta de quince.

In school, her favorite subject is music, and her favorite performer is Enrique Iglesias.

For each of the three pioneers, one of the primary challenges and goals for the next couple of years is to complete their schooling. They are aware that the support of NCV has made getting this far in school possible for them. Each is working diligently to complete the necessary courses, but because it is normal that when kids come to us they have missed out on some school, and consequently are often older than their peers, they will need to continue their secondary studies during the transition. It is also a challenge for them to identify other concrete goals for the time after their studies.

As they prepare for the new responsibilities that will come as they emerge into adulthood, it is important to realize that these three did not experience the full six years of preliminary preparations that are currently in the plan. In a very real way they represent the reasons that NCV developed the transitional project. Our mission statement reads: "To see hope, healing and dignity flourish in Bolivian children, values that they will multiply into society through the establishment of self-sustaining and scalable models of care." In light of that statement, the big step away from one home to another has to be included in each child's journey.

To make the transitional project a reality and develop it to help each individual child, NCV is also preparing for these new responsibilities. The biggest challenges we face as a Foundation with Sendero de Esperanza are diverse and substantive.

First, the girls who are going to be leaving over the next couple of years have not benefited from the full six-year preliminary portion of the project, where they receive guidance on independent decision-making, and have opportunities to gradually become more independent while still living in Corazón del Pastor. We have observed a level of immaturity that has us concerned with how they will handle things when they have less guidance.

Second, while the first three girls who will move to the new home all have families, none of the families are in a position to provide them the emotional and financial support they will need nor the guidance which will be required during this crucial phase in their lives. It would be easy for the girls to count too much on the resources they would emotionally like to see their families provide, and not be as fully committed to the transitional project as we think they must be if the transition is to be successful.

Third, to add this important program, we must find financial support above and beyond the support for our already existing programs. We know we have amongst our current supporters people who are interested in helping this project move forwards. However, if we see a shift in support, rather than new support, it might mean a shortfall for our current programs.

Sendero de Esperanza Photo Gallery

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Above Left: The three pioneers of the Sendero de Esperanza transitional house.
Above Right: Tia Paty helps Sofia with a practical project.

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Above Left: Sofia is a natural athlete.
Above Right: Ana demonstrates her creativity with a puppet.

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Above Left: Olivia, at a recent trip to Pairumani ecopark.
Above Right: Abigail, who will turn 15 this year, will be in the next wave of girls moving out of CDP.

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Above Left: Abigail camping out with Elena, our other quinceañera of 2013.
Above Right: A group of girls who are a part of the preliminary portion of the program with a cooking instructor that taught them in the home.

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Above Left: Lourdes, Elena and Abigail watching Cochabamba's Carnaval parade a few weeks ago.
Above Right: Sofia, soaked, and trying only somewhat successfully to defend herself with foam spray at Carnaval.

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Above: Lourdes and Olivia describing their team's "path of hope" projection at last weekend's workshop.

PDC banner

There is a lot of good food and play, school time and homework time every day at PDC. Boys take turns serving food and clearing the table, and with Cochabamba's sunny weather, most of the playtime is out of doors. During one school assembly, however, a huge torrent of rain beat down on the metal roof over the children, and even with the sound system, the principal's voice could not be heard over the din. With one boy in second grade, and six more in kindergarten or grade one, school takes up an increasing share of the time and attention of the boys and their tias.

Pedacito de Cielo Photo Gallery

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Above Left: Alarico (and friend :) awaits his lunch.
Above Right: Lucas enjoying the yummy food.

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Above Left: Diego prepares for lunch with a little play.
Above Right: Zaquiel serves another boy lunch before heading off to school.

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Above Left: The backpacks look heavy, but usually have only a single notebook for homework.
Above Right: Seven boys on their way to school (with assistance from Tias Isabel and Leyla).

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Above Left: Leaving home for school is a big transition. Hugs help :)
Above Right: Rain pours down at the school assembly, which is under a metal roof.

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Above Left: The boys receive snacks at the assembly.
Above Right: Bemabe shares one of his presents with Tia Isabel.

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Above Left: School kids love treats. Almost ready to head to class!
Above Right: Tia Isabel and Leyla prepares to walk home through the downpour.

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Above Left: Lucas has an alter ego. The masks the visitors from Canada brought were a big hit.
Above Right: Lucas enjoys the reveal!

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Above Left: Abran is all smiles... except when we take his picture!
Above Right: Abran is almost ready to walk on his own.

CDP banner

Education for the girls at CDP is a big priority, taking up the major part of the day during the school year. Between attendance and homework, mornings and afternoons are in large part devoted to school. The support provided by tias and volunteers for this effort is enormous, and, the older girls, in particular, have come to value their educations and see them as preparation for career and family later in their lives. There are breaks and much fun and laughter because these girls are fun loving and creative as well. One aspect it is easy for a visitor to notice is how they help one another.

Pedacito de Cielo Photo Gallery

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Above Left: Johana helps Zamora with a task in the homework room.
Above Right: Jhoselin helps Karina with her homework.

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Above Left: Kattia takes a short break from her studies.
Above Right: Karina tries on someone else's glasses.

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Above Left: It's Friday afternoon and there's time to try something creative.
Above Right: Sophia decorates Tia Andrea's nails.

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Above Left: Raeka admires the creative nail project.
Above Right: Ana models her new nails for Kattia.

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Above Left: Johana, Jhoselin and Kattia work out a critical thinking project together.
Above Right: Four girls work together to solve a Sudoku puzzle.

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Above Left: Victoria poses for a portrait.
Above Right: Claudia Rivero, one of our board members, and her family have donated a lot of books and other materials for our library.

ONE banner

During March we traveled to Mizque to collect more detailed information on the potential 3 pilot communities that we are looking to work with on the development of a sustainable model of community care. These data will give us information about what they do to generate income for their families, the communities' pressing needs, education levels, etc. These facts are vital to support our efforts for improving their communities in different areas and the potential grant we are seeking. The next step requires us to analyze this information, so that we can develop a project that we hope will have a major positive impact on the lives of hundreds of families and children.

One Child at a Time Photo Gallery

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Above Left: Families are large in Pantipampa, with as many as 10 to 15 children.
Above Right: School children in Pantipampa may study until grade six, though many girls leave earlier.

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Above Left: Small community daycares like this are low on the communities' priorty lists.
Above Right: Supplies are scarce, but the teachers are creative in making do with what is available.

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Above Left: A few of the kids in class during Jackie's visit.
Above Right: Community leaders share Pantipampa's needs and priorities.

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Above Left: Kuri's leaders likewise presented their concerns.
Above Right: We also spoke with the women, whose voices are often not heard.

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Above Left: Here, a municipal worked asks a village woman her thoughts on a few things.
Above Right: The group of municipal workers that traveled with Jackie, hearing from the three communities that were visited.

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Above Left: Drinking chicha, a tradition for visitors to the villages.
Above Right: In the mountains, there is a lot of land, but it is dry and low on nutrients.

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Above Left: A typical village home.
Above Right: "Hello there!"

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Above Left: The church in the main plaza in Mizque.
Above Right: Packing up for market.

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Above: A couple traditional plates.

Leyle banner

NCV benefits enormously from visitors to Bolivia who give their time and talent to assist the tias in the daily routine in both the boys' home. Volunteers are present for both short and long periods of time, depending on their availability. This month we wanted to profile one volunteer who found NCV through Sustainable Bolivia, an organization that sends volunteers to many different foundations here. She has committed mornings five days a week to assist at the boys' home.

PDC is delighted to have Leyla Anna Abbas volunteering every weekday morning. She is quite an amazing young woman. How many 18 year olds do you know who speak French, Spanish, German, and English fluently?

Leyla grew up in Heidelberg, Germany, and first came to Bolivia to volunteer in La Paz, at the same day care center where her mother had volunteered 20 years earlier. In Germany, it is quite common for students to do a gap year of service or travel between high school and university. Leyla had been planning this time in Bolivia since she was 13 years old, deciding to come on her own, rather than with an organization. Luckily for NCV, she was not a fan of the weather in La Paz :) When she met someone from Sustainable Bolivia who encouraged her to consider Cochabamba, she was then introduced to Niños con Valor.

Leyla enjoys working with small children, though she admits it can be exhausting. She likes Pedacito de Cielo because it is such a happy place. "The boys are lively and have a good childhood even though they don't grow up with families." She already feels a part of the Niños con Valor family, and has felt loved and welcomed by the tias and by the children alike. One marker of this welcome is Leyla's comment: "Tia Isabel feels like a grandma to me." Volunteering at the boys' home brightens up her day. A self-starter, Leyla has fit into the routines of the home very quickly by finding work that needed to be done, rather than asking others what she could do. She feels most comfortable working with small children, and her Spanish is excellent.

Another aspect of Cochabamba she has enjoyed is the community of Sustainable Bolivia, where she is living. There, she has met people from all over the world who have come for language classes and volunteering, and has enjoyed conversations, cooking, and sharing meals with them. Leyla loves Cochabamba, the "City of Eternal Spring". After La Paz, the warm weather and sunshine are a welcome change for her.

It is exciting for us to share about our growth, and more importantly, the growth we are seeing in our chidlren. Niños con Valor is increasingly being recognized for its work. We have received an invitation from the government of Tarija to present our efforts in working with children affected by HIV, as they are considering launching something similar in their department. We have also received a child from Tarija, and have been asked to consider taking a child from La Paz, and another from Santa Cruz. This development confirms for us our hope that what we are doing will have benefits for children all over Bolivia, and also our desire to create a model that can be replicated, so children do not have to come to Cochababma to receive the care they deserve and need.

We hope you enjoyed these pictures of the present and our hopes for the future embodied in The Path of Hope. In this Easter time, it is particularly easy to remember how the door to our futures was opened wide by great acts of generosity, and we give thanks for all. Until next month...

Peace and Love From the Children, the Staff, and the Volunteers of Niños con Valor.

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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
c/o Laurel Fortin
23515 NE Novelty Hill Rd SteB221-#301
Redmond WA 98053

For instructions on donating outside of the US, please visit our donations page.

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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 home that provides care for up to 12 boys 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.

NCV Newsletter

23515 NE Novelty Hill Rd SteB221-#301
Redmond, WA   98053
Questions? +1 425-891-6237

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