Supporting technical education & entrepreneurship

Education / Bolivia

In the community of Bella Vista, located in Bolivia’s hilly Cochabamba valley, 95% of the population lives off subsistence farming. Despite government efforts, poverty is still rampant and illiteracy an issue, with an estimated 13% of school-age children having no access to education.

our Impact

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99

students supported

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100%

graduation rate

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59%

female students

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430

hours practical training

Our work

With the help of Fundación Cristo Vive, the Louis Dreyfus Foundation supports the Cochabamba Agricultural School and student residence project. The school offers a three-year technical education program consisting of 3,600 hours of theoretical and practical training, promoting entrepreneurship as a path to empowerment and financial autonomy, and giving priority to vulnerable students with special attention to gender balance. 

The curriculum focuses not only on traditional agriculture but also on breeding, fruit and flower culture, and soil and water management among other environmental topics. Students are trained to apply sustainable agricultural practices and diversify their sources of income by relying less on monoculture.

2017 saw the opening of a new residence to allow students from the most remote areas of the country to attend courses, focusing on promoting personal development and self-responsibility through social and cultural interactions. 

Key impact

Today, the Cochabamba Agricultural School is recognized by Bolivia’s education authorities as delivering a certificate equivalent to an academic diploma. Its educational program is aligned with the standards set by the Ministry of Education of Bolivia. In 2018, the institution welcomed 76 students – 45 of them women – seven of whom resided at the boarding school during its first year of operation. 

Local companies involved in the implementation of 480 hours of practical training have hired some of the students at the end of their 3-year course. 

The focus on practical knowledge and skills has helped encourage entrepreneurship, which is increasingly important in the context of challenging economic conditions.

About our partner

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Founded by Sister Karoline Mayer Hofbeck, Fundación Cristo Vive works for public welfare in Chile, Bolivia and Peru.

 

Testimonial

To me, getting practical and theoretical training is really important. It is also great to have so many topics covered: I feel that I will be able to be self-reliant and run my farm more efficiently. I also enjoy living in the residence: this gives me more time to study and exchange with other students, and without that my parents would not have been able to cover the cost of my education.

Luis Armando Urapuca Tamacuine

Asunción de Guarayos, Bolivia