I am Marda Alina Ramirez Dumaoang, a BA Public Administration graduate of the University of the Philippines-Diliman. Since June, I have been on an internship here in Cochabamba, Bolivia in a non-profit, non-government funded organization - Centro Integral Warmi.
Centro Integral Warmi was created in 1982 by a group of mothers who sought better lives for themselves and their families. The hyperinflation in Bolivia in 1982 demanded employment opportunities, bringing about Centro Integral Warmi’s soap factory in 1984. As the mothers started to overcome the barrier of finding employment, they were confronted with the issue of caring for their children while at work, hence the child care system that allowed the mothers to leave their children at Warmi.
For over thirty years, Warmi has responded to the community needs of the Pacata neighborhood of the city by providing jobs to women of the community, low-cost childcare, after-school educational programs, and family workshops. The organization has developed a preventive approach to combatting the cycle of poverty by collaborating with parents and other stakeholders to create and maintain a positive environment for children and families to thrive.
Over time, Warmi has changed its main focus from the soap factory to the children. Now, Warmi is no longer producing soap; instead it is seeking to improve and develop different work areas and programs that contribute to improved quality of life of people in the community apart from those that work at Warmi.
In 2010, Warmi opened a second site called Thikay Wasi (“Blooming House” in Quechua) in Tiquipaya, on the outskirts of Cochabamba.
Currently, Warmi provides multifaceted social services in the neighborhoods of Pacata and Tiquipaya, and comprehensive support to 400 young clients from one to 18 years of age .
El Bus Magico
Committed to its ideals of generating favorable situations for an integral and spiritual child and family development, Warmi will be holding “El Bus Magico” in the last week of August. In this magic bus, the primary kids in Warmi will be taken for a day to companies and institutions around Cochabamba, specifically Periodicos Los Tiempos and Aeropuerto Internacional Jorge Wilstermann.
Normally, most of the sponsored children in Warmi take after their parents’ work, mostly menial. This is what I am planning to change. This is what “El Bus Magico” aims to achieve: to give the children the opportunity to explore other types of career paths they can take and to inspire them to pursue something that could change their lives. With talks from employees of companies, the children will be able to know what to expect when they decide to make new paths for themselves.
How YOU Can Help
I would like to invite you to share with us the fulfillment and joy of conducting this worthwhile event. We in Warmi assure you that anything you give us will be of much use and of great impact to the children; that this event will be as successful as to realize the dream we all share for these kids.
Here is the breakdown of the target amount:
$100 for renting a bus for the whole day
$200 for food and snacks for 40 kids and 8 educators/trainees
$50 for buying tokens for the companies
$150 for school supplies for the participants
*Any excess amount will be directly donated to the organization.