COVID-19 and Compassion’s Work in Bolivia

An in-depth look at the coronavirus pandemic in Bolivia

Last Updated: 10/19/2020

The Bolivian ministry of health reported a slowdown of new COVID-19 infections, with a recovery rate of 71%. On Oct. 1, the country entered a new phase of “post-confinement,” allowing the resumption of commercial, sports, cultural and religious activities. School is canceled, both online and in person, until at least 2021.

Group activities at all Compassion child development centers remain on hold. Partner churches are working to provide food, disease prevention materials, and hygiene supplies to beneficiaries and their families. Since the crisis began, staff members have distributed 427,053 food packs and 197,303 hygiene kits and provided 1,119 individuals with medical support. They are also checking in with families via phone to provide spiritual and emotional support and arrange for telehealth calls. Compassion Bolivia has deployed teams of physicians and psychologists to support frontline church partners and has conducted trainings to help churches safely resume activities.

COVID response in Bolivia

How is Compassion Currently Operating in Bolivia?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in Bolivia, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming. Watch this video for a detailed explanation of how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion centers and how local partners are caring for each registered child during this season.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Currently, all centers in Bolivia are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff members are working to create virtual programming activity, including videos and livestreams. They continue to call and check in on families, and in some communities they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute 427,053 food packs and 197,303 hygiene kits to children and their families!’

COVID response in Bolivia

child reading IconStory From the Field

When Matilde, Julian and their five children were thrown out of their home after they couldn’t afford the rent, Matilde cried desperate tears. “I cried out of helplessness. I didn’t know what to do. All I could think was that I couldn’t leave my children on the street,” she says.

The pandemic in Bolivia has deeply affected families that were already vulnerable to poverty and crises. Unable to go out to work, they are struggling to afford to buy food or pay the rent. When the family was evicted, not only did they still need to pay the rent they owed, they also had to find a new place to live.

“On top of all the difficulties, people didn’t want to rent us a place because we had too many children,” says Matilde.

In her anguish, she realized exactly whom she could turn to. Her three youngest children are registered in Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program. She headed to the home of the pastor whose church partners with Compassion to support her children. Pastor Humberto listened to Matilde’s situation with compassion, and the church partner provided urgent support.

“During that time, it was difficult to go out. Due to the quarantine, there wasn’t transportation to move around looking for a place,” Pastor Humberto remembers. “As a church partner, we supported the family with a great part of their rent. Then, we were able to find them a house where they wouldn’t have to pay rent for three months.”

When they heard the news, the entire family was excited, happy and thankful. “The house is nicer, bigger and safer,” says Matilde. The church also helped provide beds, clothes and blankets for the family to prepare their home.

“We are all happy about this new house,” says 10-year-old Sofia. “This is my home.”

How can I pray for Bolivia?

Pray that God will give strength, safety and health to the pastors and center staff as they continue to love and care for children and their families. For more prayer resources, visitCompassion’s COVID-19 prayer page for prayer guides and a virtual prayer wall.

How Can I Help?

Sponsor a Child in Bolivia
Give to Compassion’s COVID-19 Relief Fund
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