YWAM Tarija – An Early Childhood Centre

Here I am in Tarija, staying at the YWAM base here. This base is not like many of the bases of YWAM in that it does not run courses or training. What it does however is something very important for the community. Run by one woman who is occasionally assisted by temporary helpers, this base provides a free educational service for poor families in the neighborhoods.

teaching in a group
Stephanie teaches the days of the week through a dance.

on the blackboard
Young girl working on the blackboard with chalk.

Many of the children that come to this centre have terrible stories about their family life. Others have lived in poverty and never been given the opportunity to experience the learning opportunities of the rich. Most families do not have electricity in their houses, few have water, and some eat from the garbage dump to survive. These are families in massive risk. A great number of them are “mistresses,” women on their own with one or more children to try and keep alive.

The goal of this centre is to provide these children with both the educational and relational experiences they need to be able to succeed in life. And it is doing a remarkable job too.

Mercedes working with the children
Mercedes works with the children both together and individually.

Stephanie working with a girl
Working one-on-one with the children.

Here are some photos of the children as they work away in the centre, learning and discovering things that they had never had the opportunity to do before. If you would like to help them out, then I am certain that Mercedes would be very pleased to have you along. Obviously, being in a Spanish country means that being able to speak Spanish would be an advantage, but is not essential. Contact me and I will pass on your request (translated if in English). I have had a lot of fun working with the children during my time here and I am sure you will find your time here rewarding.

young girl cannot speak
An older child that still cannot speak more than a few words.

Girl playing with plasticine
Young girl building hand skills in plasticine.

alphabet puzzle
A young boy works on getting his alphabet letters in the right place.

girl painting
A young girl working at the painting table.