BOLIVIA, a bibliobus for Cochabamba (2011-2013)

Access to popular education


Project region: Cochabamba, 5 villages in rural and suburban areas

Duration: 3 years (2011-2013)

Aim: to offer an educational alternative to children and teenagers with a difficult socio-cultural status by including culture and reading within their fundamental needs :

  • Support traditional school education by allowing access to basic education (mainly books) and promoting educational support
  • Promote a love of reading
  • Make a link with traditional schools and skilled workers, according to the needs of the community

Beneficiaries: at least 300 children and teenagers from 4 to 16 years old. Undirect beneficiaries : implied communitied, volunteers and families, around 75 children per village.

Emission on Canal 7
"Cochabamba bibliobus"

Course of action:

  • Through the bibliobus: free access to various documentation, including cultural context of Bolivia and latin America.
  • Academic school support
  • Animations around reading
  • Artistic and self-expression wokshops (drawing, painting, handscraft activities, theater, music, …)
  • Didactic and play games are made available
  • Projection and debates, documentaries on various themes such as health, environment, nutrition, multicultural issues, etc.
  • Computer and Internet search training for teenagers along with other schools in France and Senegal
  • Adults have access to national and international press, publications and documentation on daily life and can also benefit from a scholar refresher course

The socio-economic situation:

Since 20 years, Bolivia experiments a very high demographic growth linked to economic migrations of rural communities coming from rural areas of Altiplano and jobless miners due to several mining closing.

This population, without resources and with limited opportunities of reconversion regarding their low level of education, is concentrated in southern areas of the city and surrounding villages. They survive thanks to precarious job, mainly in the service and street trading.

In villages, most families survive through livestock farming and cultivated lands.Most of them are illiterate ; school truancy and drop out before the end of Primary school are very high : only 13% of children coming from poor families end primary school against 66% in rich families.

The program:

Facing the alarming failure of the bolivian educational system, local actors are mobilizing to develop alternatives in terms of education towards Youth and Teenagers.

This is part of Ayni Bolivia’s work, an association that sollicitated SOLIDARITÉ support to develop activites around a bibliobus in Cochabamba region, the third city in Bolivia.

The project has grown from past experiences developed in Sucre since 1998 and in Santa Cruz de la Sierra since 2006. In Sucre, 4 librairies have been created. In Santa Cruz, the bibliobus is present within 4 vulnerable districts. The initiative enables hundred of Youth to have access to a library on a regular basis. Apart from its services in the districts, the bibliobus has also participated in several cultural events (International book fair "Ferias lectoras", annual traditional events in several parts of the city, etc.).

The project exists since march 2009 : more than 600 children and teenagers have already benefited from our action. Nowadays, 313 children are regularly attending the Bibliobus’ activities. Our action consists in reinforce pre-existing activities and to develop a training support in computer for the oldest beneficiaries.

Local partner: AYNI BOLIVIA (2004, AYNI branch, created in France in 1998)