Mano a Mano
The Sundance Family Foundation provided $20,000 to Mano a Mano Medical Resources to build teacher-housing units in Kayarani, a rural community in Bolivia. Incorporated in 1994, Mano a Mano strives to improve the well being of poverty-stricken Bolivians by enlarging the capacity of communities and health care providers to focus on educational and medical needs. Their community development projects are volunteer intensive and are operated, supported and run by Bolivians.
The community of Kayarani has about 9,150 inhabitants. It is about 55 miles (88km) from the city of Cochabamba (the third largest city in Bolivia) and located in a high, arid valley that produces potatoes, corn and other vegetables. The residents of Kayarani began their relationship with Mano a Mano in the year 2001, when they requested that a clinic be built in their community. Together with Mano a Mano and the local government, the community residents built a clinic that began operations the next year.
The community immediately solicited Mano a Mano to assist them in improving their school buildings and building teacher housing. There were not enough classrooms to accommodate all the students, and the school board was finding it difficult to recruit and retain qualified teachers as there was no decent housing to be found in the community.
With the help of the Sundance Family Foundation, the residents of Kayarani constructed three duplexes (for six families) of teacher housing. Each apartment has two bedrooms and a kitchen/dining/living area and a common bathroom is shared between two duplexes. “The residents of Kayarani were very excited to have the opportunity to work with Mano a Mano again,” said Joan Velasquez, co-founder of Mano a Mano. “Each day, at least four to five volunteers worked along side the master builders, helping with the construction and also learning valuable skills.”
This type of assistance ensures that qualified teachers will take positions in rural areas and complete their work contracts. Other programs sponsored by Mano a Mano include:
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