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La Vida - Helping Hands

“Helping Hands is a true dream for all the young people so they can finish their studies”

Project Co-ordinator: Lisa Smart
Location: La Paz, Bolivia


  • La Vida provides financial support so that disadvantaged young people can finish their studies.
  • Many of the students we support do not have the support of their families.
  • Students follow a variety of courses including dental technician and petroleum engineering.

Description of Project

Helping Hands provides support for disadvantaged young people so that they can finish their studies in Bolivia’s capital, La Paz.

From the beginning the students themselves have helped to run the project, keeping costs down and also giving them a chance to work part time to earn their food money. Private university costs are high and the Project does not provide for food and personal expenses so the students must work at least part time. The students have gained valuable work experience as they must take part in meetings, budgeting and decision making as well as taking on a high level of responsibility.
For the other students who have a very complicated class schedule but need desperately to work part time, they have developed their Macrame Bracelets Project where the kids make the bracelets in their free time developing their own designs. When they bring in their bracelets, they are paid immediately by the secretary. Helping Hands then take on the task of finding buyers for the bracelets, preferably overseas where we are able to make a bit of a profit to go into our Opportunity Fund which helps to provide for new students before we find sponsors for them.

The students study a wide variety of subjects from dental nursing to petroleum engineering.

More information about the project can be found at If you would like to make a donation to the project please visit You can also read a letter from Franz, one of the students.

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