Bolivia, a landlocked country, is the poorest country in South America, possibly the entire world. Yet it is rich in natural resources and culture. 65% of the population is indigenous. Smile Forever Foundation believes it is important to invest in programs that are culturally sensitive, to educate and encourage the population to develop and value their own country.
Patchwork humanitarianism as not an acceptable the solution to global problems. Smiles Forever believes that the only way to break the cycle of poverty in developing nations like Bolivia is to educate young women and girls. The culture may relegate females to second-class status, yet it is clear that Bolivian women are the primary socializing force of the family, and hence of Bolivia's future. When women are educated children benefit. They receive preventative care, dental and medical and children are educated equally.
Smiles Forever Foundation's unique approach offers homeless, young indigenous women an opportunity to build a career, particularly in a field where the need is great. The school promotes the Quechua values of truth and hard work as well as honoring Quechua traditions.
Why We Focus on Women
- Research shows educating women is a key driver in a country's economic growth
- Educated women have healthier children too; each additional year of education is shown to reduce child mortality by 18 per thousand births
- Having women in the workplace has been shown to increase organizational effectiveness
- Educated women are more likely to practice family planning.
- An educated woman knows that equal opportunity should be afforded to both male and female children.
- An educated woman understands and values the importance of prevention when it comes to both medical and dental care.
- Education has been shown to help raise self-esteem