My name is Angela Kirkpatrick and I am studying Marketing, Spanish and Global Studies in the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. The last 11 weeks, through AIESEC, I have been on an internship in Cochabamba, Bolivia working for a non-profit, non-government funded organization called Centro Integral Warmi. For over thirty years, Warmi (which means “Women” in Quechua), 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 preventative approach to combatting the cycle of poverty by collaborating with parents to create and maintain a positive environment for children and families to thrive.
Centro Integral Warmi is a non-profit organization created in 1982 by a group of poor mothers trying to better themselves and provide for their families. 1982 was a time of hyperinflation, and it was necessary for them to generate a source of labor, giving birth to a soap factory. Once the women had overcome the barrier of finding employment, they were confronted with the issue of caring for their children while at work. In 1984 the soap factory and the child care space for the ladies was constructed. The soap factory provided extra financial stability and the child care facility was able to expand with the demand of the community.
Over time, they have changed their main focus from the soap factory to the children. Now Warmi is no longer producing soap, but they have been working on improving and developing different work areas and programs that contribute to improving the quality of life to people in the community and those that work at Warmi. In 2010 Warmi opened a second site called Thikay Wasi (“Blooming House” in Quechua). Currently, Warmi provides multifaceted social services in the neighborhoods of Pacata and Tiquipaya on the outskirts of Cochabamba, Bolivia. It also provides comprehensive support to 400 children and adolescents (NNA) from a year old to 18 years. Warmi’s mission is to offer support to working women and their children, as well as promote the sustainability of healthy families and a healthy community.
With the closing of the soap factory, Warmi is looking into different ways to be sustainable, and they have already taken the first steps to becoming a foundation in Bolivia. As you can guess, this process takes a long time and needs funding until this can come to pass. Therefore any and all help to keep this organization sustainable is a great help.
How You Can Help!!!
In order to increase the education level of the children in the two centers we would like to purchace one computer for academic use in each center. Each computer will cost appromamatly $500. Therefore our goal is $1,000.