Bolivian Courts Praise New Niños Con Valor Program for “Difficult” Youngsters
Children in the residential system in Bolivia, similar to those in the foster system in the US, often manifest their frustrations through negative behavior. In some cases, the traumatic impact of their childhood experiences can produce more serious behavior disorders. In the past, Niños Con Valor has been able to respond adequately in-house with the support of program psychologists and social workers, and strategies implemented by caregivers. However, over the past year a few teens have manifest behaviors that go beyond mischief or calls for attention, putting them on the road toward delinquency. Niños has been caught between loving these difficult kids and honoring the rights of the other children who are happy and who want to live in peace and harmony.
The problem is, there are no programs in Bolivia that provide off-site therapy to children with behavioral difficulties. So … Niños made one! They now have a separate living area on the property of Corazón del Pastor, with a large shared bedroom, a kitchen/living room, and patio space. Teens whose actions could be defined as juvenile delinquency, and who do not respond to repeated efforts to modify this behavior, are now sent to live in this space and participate in a more individualized and intense therapy program. They are accompanied 24/7 by two Youth Guides, young psychologists who provide them with the affection they need, while ensuring strict adherence to the routine and activities of the program. These activities include physical exercise, community service, and therapy (individual and group). Evaluation, performed on a daily basis, includes the participation of the teen’s teachers, and quantified in a visual behavior register that the teens can understand. There are three phases to the program, through which the teens progress until they are able to be reintegrated back into CDP.
The Bolivian courts, upon learning of this pilot program, praised their efforts to not give up on these teens and have requested that after they have more concrete data on its success, that they provide a detailed project description and offer training to other organizations so that this type of care can be made available to other teens growing up in residential programs throughout Bolivia.
Read more about this pilot program, as well as all the news from Niños Con Valor from this quarterly report from their director Tyson Malo.
- Please pray for the continued success of this pilot program to provide structure and hope to these difficult children.
- Pray, too, for the continuing programs of Niños Con Valor to provide for the needy youth of Bolivia.