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Bolivian young girl playing

Christian Aid in Bolivia

Christian Aid has worked in Bolivia for more than 30 years. We work with the most vulnerable and marginalised communities in the Amazon region to build their resilience to climate change, fight for their rights and combat gender injustice.

We have been working in the Amazon region since 1997, an area notable for high levels of inequality and vulnerability. We support indigenous and farming forest communities to claim their rights and adapt to a changing climate. For this reason, strengthening resilient livelihoods is at the heart of our programme.

Christian Aid adds unique value in a region where there are few non-governmental organisations (NGOs), working in trusted partnerships with hard-to-reach forest communities.

Our sound knowledge and expertise is recognised and valued within the international community, enabling us to work at scale and achieve greater impact by working in consortia.

We work with a range of partners from large, established institutions with national and international influence, to social movements and small community-based organisations in rural and urban areas.

Our partners have the capacity to carry out effective analysis and advocacy around the use of natural resources, and sustainable models of development for the Amazon and other areas of Bolivia and Latin America.

Our aims

Bolivia’s recent classification as a middle-income country has led to cuts in aid, the reduction of agencies’ work in the country, and the withdrawal of several NGOs. This only sharpens Christian Aid’s resolve to remain in Bolivia to tackle the deep inequalities and deep pockets of poverty that the figures often hide.

  1. To work with the most vulnerable and historically marginalised communities in the Amazon region of Bolivia, with a focus on empowerment and innovation.

  2. To build resilience to face climate change.

  3. To build resilience to face violence and unsustainable development models, which undermine their right to live in dignity and thrive.

In Bolivia we work on...

Gender justice

Our partners Fundación Machaqa and UNITAS work for gender justice. In March 2013, the Bolivian government passed the ‘Comprehensive law to guarantee women a life free from violence’. While the law is a victory for women’s rights advocates, Christian Aid partners are not resting on their laurels. It is vital to monitor the new law to ensure it is put into action effectively and to continue to raise awareness so people can claim their right to a life free from violence.

Find out more in our latest report: gender and politicis in Bolivia.

Bolivian Blanca Pia Poma Coronel with her mother

Blanca Pia Poma Coronel (left) with her mother

These seminars were my university. It taught me to be a leader.
Blanca Pia Poma Coronel
Fundación Machaqa workshop attendee,

Resilience

Our partner CIPCA protects the territorial rights of indigenous people and supports more than 200 families in the southern Amazon area to manage in excess of 1,893 hectares of forest sustainably, protecting them from threats such as land grabbing, illegal logging and cattle ranchers.

We are implementing an innovative participatory approach called PVCA (Participatory Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment). PVCAs help Christian Aid and our partners Soluciones Practicas and CIPCA to understand the needs, and listen to the proposals, of some of the most hard-to-reach forest communities, which can often be overlooked in times of humanitarian crisis.

Renewable energies, such as solar ovens, are improving the wellbeing of families, enabling them to cook nutritious meals even during the rainy season where there is little dry fuel to cook food. The solar ovens save time for women who generally spend many hours gathering firewood and cooking and also reduce deforestation, as each family traditionally uses an average of 3kg of wood to cook each day.

Bolivian solar oven
Key achievements

Basic rights

Our partner Fundación Solón led an annual campaign on water which contributed to the UN approving a resolution stating that water is a human right.

Livelihoods

Thanks to the work of our partner CIPCA, the income of 200 indigenous families has risen by approximately 20 to 25% per year over the past four years, and the families have greater resilience (as evidenced during the 2014 floods) and food security.

Our programmes

Christian Aid Bolivia has wide experience in implementing projects funded by institutional and other key donors.

UK aid

Building resilience is at the heart of our work. With financial support from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), through its Programme Partnership Arrangement (PPA), we are implementing an innovative participatory approach called PVCA (Participatory Vulnerability and Capacity Assessment).

PVCAs help Christian Aid and our partners Soluciones Practicas and CIPCA to understand the needs, and listen to the proposals, of some of the most hard-to-reach forest communities, which can often be overlooked in times of humanitarian crisis.

ECHO

Our work to include the voices of the most vulnerable communities during times of disaster has informed public policy to develop community-based risk management plans at national level and has leveraged an additional €2 million from ECHO in consortium with FAO, UNICEF, International Organisation of Migration (OIM), Ayuda en Acción, UNDP and Soluciones Practicas, to scale up this methodology across the Amazon.

Church of Scotland

Supported by the Guild of Scottish Women from the Church of Scotland, Christian Aid is working with partners in Bolivia to introduce renewable technology through the use of solar ovens in indigenous and farming communities in the Amazon. The project aims to build resilience and provide food security for the communities at times of crisis and to reduce deforestation and the daily burden on women, as well as improving wellbeing and health.

Latin American Children's Trust

Christian Aid is working with CIPCA and Soluciones Practicas to implement a project called Youth Entrepreneurship inthe Amazon in Bolivia, funded by the Latin American Children's Trust.

The project aims to strengthen the organisation and effective participation of young people in decision-making forums that affect them and to build local commitment and capacity to support youth entrepreneurship in the southern and western Bolivian Amazon.

Irish Methodist Church

The Irish Methodist Church is supporting our work for the economic empowerment and effective participation of indigenous and farming women in the Amazon region through introducing new technologies, renewable energies and training men and women around issues of gender equality and rights.

Reports and resources

Forest foods forever game

A primary simulation game to encourage pupils to think about issues relating to food and hunger.

Forest foods forever game - Welsh

Welsh version of our primary simulation game to encourage pupils to think about issues relating to food and hunger.

Christian Aid en América Latina y el Caribe estrategia (Spanish)

Hemos trabajado en América Latina y el Caribe por más de 30 años.

Gender and politics in Bolivia: violent repercussions

In Bolivia, progressive laws have proved insufficient in empowering women and had an unintended consequence – widespread violence towards women.

Guild Updates: Caring for Mother Earth in Bolivia

The latest report from the Caring for Mother Earth in Bolivia project.

The benefits of foreign direct investment

Quantifies the real contribution the oil and gas sector sector has made to the Bolivian economy since privatisation at the end of 1996.

Peruvian civil society perspective on world bank energy strategy

With Aprodev, we support organisations from India, South Africa, Bolivia and Peru to develop responses to the World Bank energy strategy review.

Energy for our common future

With Aprodev, we supported organisations from India, South Africa, Bolivia and Peru to develop responses to World Bank energy strategy review.

Bolivian civil society perspective on world bank energy strategy

With Aprodev, we support organisations from India, South Africa, Bolivia and Peru to develop responses to the World Bank energy strategy review. 

The poverty challenge game

A game to raise awareness of our divided world and the importance of finding lasting solutions to help poor countries work their way out of poverty.

Contact us
Christian Aid Bolivia is based in La Paz. We draw on the expertise of colleagues from other Christian Aid teams across Latin America and the world, staff at Christian Aid’s UK headquarters and INGO networks in Bolivia and beyond.

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