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Greetings from Cochabamba,

Last Tuesday, May 22nd, we attended a candle light vigil in remembrance of all those in Bolivia who have died from AIDS related causes. The girls, the boys, and the staff of Niños con Valor went to show support for and fight against the discrimination of those living with this disease. HIV/AIDS affects more and more people here in Bolivia each year, and can easily become an epidemic if sexual education and the importance of monogamous relationships are not reinforced. With the number of reported cases rising each year, we work to educate the children of NCV about HIV, and about the acceptance of others no matter who they are or where they come from.

At Niños con Valor, we strive to provide a safe, loving environment for children who have been neglected, abused, and abandoned. As the years have progressed, focus has been placed on integrating children who, in addition to not having a stable family situation, live with a variety of special needs, including mental and physical health issues, HIV and other immunodeficiencies, and learning disabilities. Currently, we are one of the only homes in Cochabamba that specializes in integrating children with such and array of special needs.

Vigil Image 1     Vigil Image 2

Above Left: Valeria and Sofia during the march to the plaza.
Above Right: Sisters, Zamora and Bryssa, holding hands as we march to remember those who have died.

Vigil Image 3     Vigil Image 4

Above Left: Zamora lighting one of the candles to create the red AIDS ribbon of remembrance.
Above Right: Bryssa proudly lighting the candles.

Vigil Image 5     Vigil Image 6

Above Left: Kattia listening as people tell stories about loved ones who have passed away.
Above Right: Diego sitting in the plaza with his candle of remembrance.


According to the research of MCP-Bolivia, an network of governmental and non-governmental representatives promoting prevention and treatment for HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, the three focus areas of the Global Fund, 6 out of every 10 people living with HIV are between 15 and 34 years of age. This is an alarming statistic for NCV, as an organization helping teens make positive life decisions as they transition into adulthood: young adults are at the highest risk of becoming infected by HIV. Additionally, since 2007, the number of reported cases has steadily increased.

While HIV has been around in Bolivia for years, it is only recently that the issue has received significant attention. In response to the HIV/AIDS community, Niños con Valor has made it an important part of our mission is to help children living with and/or affected by HIV eventually integrate into society in a healthy manner. We currently have 12 children living in our homes who are directly affected by HIV. These children benefit greatly from the special, nutrient and protein rich diet we offer in our homes, daily counseling sessions from an on-site psychologist, and of course the ARVs and medications needed to help control the virus.


At Corazon del Pastor, our girls' home, we provide excellent education support to help close the social and economic gender gap, as well as to create a healthy, stable future for the girls and their families.

According to the UN's 2011 Human Development Report, despite many recent social advances in Bolivia, girls and women continue to have less education and job opportunities than their male counterparts. An example given at a recent talk given by the UN representative to Bolivia, is that a non-indigenous male living in the richest 20% of the population is likely to have had, on average, 14 years of education. However, an indigenous woman, living in the rural areas and in the poorest 20% of the population, is likely to have had, on average, 2 years of education. The point: education is crucial to success, yet continues to remain out-of-reach of the majority of girls and women, especially those of more humble backgrounds.

Therefore, NCV stresses the importance of a well-rounded education for both our girls and boys. The children not only attend school; they also receive individualized support from a specialist in education who works 6 days a week at the home to guide and assist them with homework, projects, and studying. Also, they attend extra-curricular activities and groups—dance, art, sports, self-defense classes, and youth groups--to supplement their schooling and build confidence, self-assurance, and social skills.

Education Image 1     Education Image 2

Above Left: Tia Marisol helping the girls research for a school project.
Above Right: Tom Nagle, a volunteer, teaching the older girls self-defense techniques.

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Above Left: Because dancing is an integral part of Bolivian culture, the girls have learned all the dances, and perform that at school and the foundation's events.
Above Right: Tia Sonia talking with Manolo about how school is going and what he has been learning.

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Above Left: Victoria practicing her new dance steps after ballet class. The youngest girls love attending ballet!
Above Right: Johana practicing songs on the guitar.

Health Care:

In order to ensure the health and wellbeing of our children, we take a holistic approach:

  • We strive to provide proper nutrition for all of our kids, something particularly important for those with weakened defenses.
  • We are working with other organizations here in Bolivia to ensure that all children living with HIV continue to have access to ARVs.
  • Doctors and nurses from a local hospital visit monthly to give check-ups.
  • We have a contract with a local university to have continuous health monitoring of our children provided by nursing students.
  • All the children receive individual, group, and, when appropriate, family therapy from trained psychologists.
  • Any special medical needs are taken care of, and we hold an emergency fund in case of more costly medical emergencies.
  • With the help of the staff and the volunteers, some of the children have overcome mild to severe learning disabilities, including dyslexia and ADHA, while others have learned techniques to control these special educational needs.
  • Other children receive very special medical and psychological attention, including a recent trip to Brazil for viral genotyping and antiviral resistance testing for a group of children living with HIV, options for a degenerative eye condition for one of the older girls who is losing her vision, and psychiatric care for a few of our kids who have been diagnosed with mental health issues.

By giving the kids healthy bodies and minds, they can perform better in their studies, feel better about themselves, and have a better quality of life.

Health Image 1     Health Image 3

Above Left: Nurses and doctors from Hospitals of Hope, Inc. come each month to give check-ups to the girls and the boys.
Above Right: Tia Andrea, the psychologist at Pedacito, explaining to Eneas how old he is.

Health Image 2     Health Image 4

Above Left: Future nurses spend a month at Pedacito completing their practicum hours-playing with and making sure the boys are healthy.
Above Right: Tia Becky checking helping to keep the girls' home lice free!

Transition Towards Independence:

With more than three-quarters of our girls in CDP now adolescents, and many of them entering in their teens, starting to think more seriously about their future plans, goals, and dreams, we are in the process of creating a transitional program for them. This program will be implemented before they age out of the home at eighteen. Our oldest girl, Olivia, will be turning sixteen this November, and is extremely nervous and anxious about her future.

Thankfully, this program will help all the girls twelve-years-old and up create solid, stable plans for the future, include individual and group sessions that focus on future planning (living options, career plans, financial management), provide work experience in safe environments arranged through Bolivian board members and staff, and offer an external mentorship program to offer guidance in life skills.

In Cynthia Lloyd's The Power of Educating Adolescent Girls, she appeals to recent research that suggests supporting young women in their transition from school to employment is not only a strategy that promotes gender equity, but also promotes economic growth that is beneficial to the poor in general. Therefore, this transitional program for young adults is much needed, and will impact the girls' lives forever—teaching them responsibility and helping them create a healthy future. It will also serve as a model for other organizations caring for children passing through this exciting yet challenging phase of life.

Older Girls Image 1     Older Girls Image 2

Above Left: The seven oldest girls of Corazon del Pastor—Sofia, Lourdes, Olivia, Elena, Abigail, Ana, and Valeria. They are all very anxious, but excited about creating a solid plan for the future.
Above Right: Lourdes, Elena, and Ana having fun in the park. Although they are adolescents, they still enjoy spending time with the other girls and the tias.

Older Girls Image 3     Older Girls Image 4

Above Left: Abigail helping bring in the items bought at the market. The older girls accompany the tias to the market to learn about buying food and other items.
Above Right: Sofia and her younger sister, Adriana. The younger girls look up to adolescents, especially those with older sisters. Once Sofia transitions into the new NCV project for young adults, she can still have contact with and visit Adriana.

According to a 2012 UNICEF document entitled "A Report Card on Adolescents," it is most important to focus on the children at risk—breaking dangerous, unhealthy cycles, and bringing hope, love, and value to their lives:

At this stage, investment must focus on those adolescents who are most at risk of passing the legacy of poverty and discrimination to the next generation: girls at risk of child marriage, girls and boys exposed to violence, younger adolescents out of school and all adolescents who are illiterate, adolescents living with HIV and those without access to knowledge, information, and basic services.

This describes the children of Niños con Valor—children who have been exposed to violence, neglect, and abuse, kids living with or have been affected by HIV and other diseases, and those who could easily follow the paths of their parents. However, these children want a better, brighter future, and we all must work together to make this possible.

Peace and Love,


pencil  Check out our Blog!

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 Karen Mitchell
PO Box 223
New Hampton NH 03256

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

pray  Pray!

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.

NCV Newsletter

PO Box 223, New Hampton, NH, USA |
Questions? +1 603-707-0201

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