Fundraising for critical medications and treatments, health education materials, and important new property and resources for the kids!
Movimiento Sonrisa or 'Movement Smile' is a charity based in Cochabamba, Boliva. It provides shelter and assistance to families who have a sick or injured child in the Viedma Hospital Complex, as well as critical support for the child.
Back in 1997, a boy was injured in a car accident, and his family couldn't afford to pay for his medical treatment. A group of schoolkids got together to fundraise for his care, and realised that not only was this a common predicament, but that there was both a domestic and international community willing to support these most vulnerable people.
The organisation has grown over the years, and now supports hundreds of poor families each year, who find themselves in need when their child becomes unwell or is badly injured.
Movimiento Sonrisa purchases critically needed medications, and pays for some hospital tests and procedures. They also provide a shelter and food for rural families, many of whom previously had no choice but to sleep on the floor in the hospital, or outside on the streets or in the grounds of the hospital.
I am currently volunteering with Movimiento Sonrisa, and my role is to spend time with the children themselves, whose time in hospital can be boring, lonely, scary. It is rewarding when I am able to make a child smile and forget their pain or discomfort. I have purchased a few new jigsaw puzzles and other activities, and the children are very receptive -- they love completing the activities and are patient with my sometimes halting Spanish!
Movimiento Sonrisa is in need of funding for medications and treatments, as well as resources to enable them to provide health education to families. In addition, much of the property at the shelter and in the hospital is worn and dated, in need of replacement or repair. It would be fantastic to be able to purchase a few more new toys and activities for the children as well. They have had a tough time!