Supporting The Work of Centro Virgen Nina (formerly known as Asociacion XXI)

Project location: Bolivia, El Alto
Project start date: May 2006 - Project end date: This project covers various years
Project number: 0000-03
Beneficiary: AssociaciĆ²n XXI

Asociaciòn XXI was established in 1994 as a non profit organization, and recognized by the Bolivian law as NGO and as a charitable institution by the Catholic Church, Diocese of El Alto.

Its main objective was contributing in the fight against poverty, trying to improve the living conditions of thousands of families, women, children and elderly people, who don't have access to basic services such as school, healthcare, registration in the General Registry Office, etc.

Due to a very sensitive political relationship between the Bolivian government and the Catholic Church in the country - particularly after the 2005 Presidential elections won by the Socialist Part candidate Morales - the founders of Asociaciòn XXI decided to found a new organization under the Ecclesial Law, named Asociaciòn "Centro Virgen Nina" - E.P.D.B. The new organization has the same Director and President of the previous one, without any change of the patrimonial economic situation. Yet, the different juridical status helps the Asociaciòn to be more independent and protected in conducting its socio-medical, socio-educational, welfare-charitable and vocational training activities.

The tragic political and economic situation of Bolivia, together with inflation rates running above 20% in the past few years, have drastically increased the price of first-necessity goods such as rice, bread, sugar, milk and potatoes. This situation of extreme poverty is at the same time cause and effect of a very high percentage of people, especially children, affected by physical and mental disabilities - and most of all by spiritual and moral handicap - to the extent that it is impossible to actually measure the quality of life because of its extreme deterioration.
Surely, poverty strikes at every latitude and longitude, but in El Alto to the lack of everything needed for a human being it must be added the rigours of cold at over 4.000m. of height and the impossibility of finding adequate shelter because the houses are made of corrugated sheet iron and mud.

The Organization aims to meet the most urgent needs and problems disregarded by the public institutions ( handicapped and under-nourished children, poor families, youth at risk, promotion of women, orphans and elderly), trying not to create a sort of "parallel welfare", but to promote a change of mentality in order to live with dignity also in condition of extreme poverty. Since 1994 various services have been activated by Asociaciòn XXI, currently carried out by the new Asociaciòn "Centro Virgen Nina", to relieve the difficult living conditions of El Alto residents.

In 2005 the Nando Peretti Foundation approved the funding of a three-year project to support the activities the Asociaciòn was carrying out in the "Centro Virgen Nina" in El Alto. The Asociaciòn was subsequently refunded for another three-year project (2009-2011), as to renew the NPF commitment to contribute to the cause of those trying to dignify the living conditions of the poor people.

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