Social services and local economic development

With the innovative school programs access the Fundación Pueblo has shown that social services in the country not only serve to educate but can also become an important economic factor at the community level.

Not only the peasants’ earth

When one thinks of local economic development in the country, agriculture and animal husbandry come mostly to mind as the the traditional branches of industry of the bulk of the rural population in a country like Bolivia. Social services that are tailored to the needs and skills of the rural population can open up important new income and employment opportunities in poor and remote areas. This has been shown in the innovative school access program of the Fundación Pueblo.

Women as a rural economic factor

Peasant women, whose traditional role is the budget manager and family caregiver, can – even without formal education – contribute their skills as host mothers in the community and thereby achieve their own small income. The new, socially prestigious employment is compatible with the traditional tasks of women but strengthens their position in the family and community.

Multiple effects and sustainability

In the villages where the Fundación Pueblo can successfully establish the “Weekly Boarding in Indigenous Families” project there is soon a measurable economic factor in the village. This is  because the host mothers are using their new income mostly for the purchase of food produced in the municipality itself. Student board as a new service provider  stimulates the local demand and economic development measurably and sustainably through a knock-on effect.

The now long-standing experience of the Fundación Pueblo in this area shows that the construction of this new social service in the communities can be an important factor to keep the widespread rural exodus in check. Whoever has a respected employment and an income in their own village finds the alternative of an initially promising but ultimately uncertain migration to the city less attractive.

In order that a Fundación Pueblo initiated project can become a sustainable social service, a sustainability strategy is needed, the development and implementation  of which can insure that the Foundation can achieve considerable continuing success.

Fundación Pueblo 2024, La Paz.
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