Esperança

New mental health program in Bolivia

Together, we're bringing help to troubled high school students

Rolando is a 12-year old boy, one of six children raised by his mother, as his father left the family more than a year ago. In his first year of high school, Rolando was able to participate in a project that involved comprehensive family health administered by Esperanza Bolivia, Esperança’s in-country partner, with financial and technical support of Esperança.

Rolando’s mother is a hardworking woman, who despite her family’s economic limitations, strives to be close to her children and have open lines of communication. She is one of the mothers who always attends all the workshops that Esperança has to offer because she says each time, she learns more and more about her children’s education.

Rolando was known by his classmates and teachers as a young rebel, earning failing grades and distracting his classmates.

The mental health program developed by Esperanza Bolivia consists of ongoing recreational workshops in which Rolando has been participating. The themes of the workshops are personal values, self-esteem and interpersonal communication. He worked hard in the area of violence prevention and anger management and other topics that promote mental health in the family.

The psychologist working with Rolando noted that he was gradually changing his attitude and demonstrating more empathy with his peers. At the end of the series of workshops, his mother thanked the psychologist for the support provided by the program, and therefore her son.

"Thank you! Now my son is more communicative and respectful, responsible with homework and chores around the house,” his mother said. In addition, Rolando was congratulated in public by his peers because they immediately noticed that he talked in class less and listened to the teachers more. He no longer bothered other students in class, but rather demonstrated cooperation and respect.

Esperanza Bolivia reports that Rolando’s story is just one of many success stories they have seen evolve over the course of the program.

Nicol Emerick