A Brief History of NCV
Before our 501(c)(3) charity came into being, our Bolivian sister organization, Fundación Niños con Valor (NCV) was founded in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 2005 by missionary Endel Liias and Bolivian psychologist Jacqueline Alvarez Daza.
While the original vision was limited to financially supporting existing programs, we soon realized we could have the greatest impact through designing model childcare programs. We had our first opportunity to design such a program when, in July 2006, we took over the direction of a small home that was at the point of closure due to corruption and lack of funds. This home became what is now Corazón del Pastor (The Shepherd’s Heart), our home for girls and young women between 0-18 years old who have been orphaned, abandoned, or removed from high-risk situations. In less than one year our family had grown from 5 girls to 21, and we were fast becoming an example of high-quality care. In 2010, the Departmental Family and Children’s Service agency noted that we were the best run home in Cochabamba.
At the end of 2007, we initiated our One Child at a Time program, which has since grown and evolved tremendously. We work on both a micro and macro level to directly support at-risk families and prevent family disintegration within communities. Currently, on the micro-level, we are invested in local families that are at-risk for their children entering the social service system due to the precarious health of the primary caregivers. These families receive services and support from the foundation such as being enrolled in our sponsorship program, legal and social service support and project specific support through visiting teams. Our macro-level work is primarily focused on the municipality of Mizque, which is done in coordination with the local government and a network of NGOs. This collaborative effort is focused on improving early childhood education, child and adolescent health and creating support groups for young women in conjunction with the local hospital. In 2012, we began focusing our efforts in three pilot communities: Pantipama A, Pantipampa B, and Uchama Baja.
It was also in 2007 that we received 501(c)(3) non-profit status in the United States, something that dramatically increased our potential to serve children in Cochabamba.
In October 2008, NCV launched Pedacito de Cielo (Little Piece of Heaven), Bolivia’s first combination daycare/residential home for children living with immunodeficiencies, including those who are living with or affected by HIV/AIDS.
Since August 2011, our two homes, Pedacito de Cielo and Corazón del Pastor, have been functioning as a boys’ home and girls’ home respectively, both now serving as centers of integration for children with special needs. Between the two homes, over 55% of our children are living with educational, physical and/or mental special needs. In these homes, our 36 children receive holistic care from our team of caregivers, who act as substitute parents, and our professional team that works with the social and psychological issues our children face.
In January 2012, we successfully launched a partner charity in Canada, the Bolivian Children Foundation, which has enabled us to raise funds from churches and individuals in this country.
Later in 2012, we launched a program designed to help our adolescent girls prepare for living independently after they are legally required to leave the home at 18-years-old. This project, named Sendero de Esperanza by our teens, includes workshops, a Big Sister Program, and as of January 2014, a transitional house for the young women who have turned 18 and moved out.
Throughout the years, we have recognized the pressing need to train staff in all areas if we were to provide a truly holistic, incarnational environment. Through our work with the HIV/AIDS community and with the opening of PDC, we realized that Bolivia has such great need, not only for discrimination-free environments, but for personnel educated in pediatric HIV/AIDS care and childhood mental health. We know the training we have invested in our staff is both desperately needed and unfortunately rare, which is why we hope to soon have the capacity to send our staff to provide trainings in other homes and thus build upon our work to improve childcare in Cochabamba.
In the US we have connected with several churches, and most have sent short-term mission teams. Mainly through these churches, we have build up a monthly mailing list of more than 500 people, many who have become child sponsors. The establishment of a 501(c)(3) non-profit in 2007 has enabled us to apply for several grants, about half of which we have received. We are also now an approved charity for the Microsoft giving program and are eligible to receive their matching donations.
NCV has also been in partnership with the Swedish not-for-profit organization Medmänniskor since 2006, the first organization to partner with NCV in the funding of CDP. Much of the funding from Medmänniskor comes from their child sponsorship program.