Friday, November 7, 2014

The Graduates

By Huw Thompson

Fundación Porvenir is a charitable organisation devoted to the improvement of the lives of children with disabilities. After some three months attending therapeutic sessions at the Fundación, this group of children from both La Paz and El Alto receive recognition of all their efforts at this the October Graduation Ceremony.

NB Part of the child protection policy of the Fundación is that we cannot take photos directly of the Hipoterapia work with the children. Here we have yet tried to give you a flavour of this important project!
Both national and international volunteers (left to right) give their time to the foundation,
 either leading educational games and exercises or aiding in the horse therapy

The Hipoterapia or equine therapy is led under the guidance of Humberto (Junior),
 both in training volunteers and supervising the therapy given.

A volunteer can expect to be given thorough training, both in the provision of equine therapy
but also some limited riding experience so to understand the position of the child in the Hipoterapia. Here from top, left to right, volunteers Emma, Anna and Laura gain some experience both atop the horses and in leading.

At this the October Graduation Ceremony, parents and children gather round to hear leaders and staff of the foundation speak and watch the children graduate. As part of the graduation ceremony, upon being led up to the presentation stage on one of the horses, each child is met with a certificate and a round of applause from the staff and parents. 

The second of the two, Humberto (Senior) along with his son is the integral and founding force of Fundación Porvenir. Here Humberto speaks to the parents and children present for the final graduation ceremony, thanking them in the very circle where volunteers provide educational play
 for both the children with disabilities and their siblings.

Such is the inclusivity of Fundación Porvenir, as part of the graduation ceremony
the children themselves were given the opportunity to talk about their time at the foundation.

Closing ceremonies. Humberto (Senior) was presented with a plaque of thanks.
Here, the organisation’s leader holds high his recognition from all those to whom
he has provided therapy in this cohort of October 2014.

Receiving both physiotherapy and extensive training atop the horse, the children are given not only therapy for their conditions, but the family is given respite. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, a family who otherwise struggle to find some time away from the fray of busy life can come down to the lush valley at the foot of the Devil’s Tooth. Between the rustling flower fields and mountainview, a child that may face less understanding in greater Bolivian society can be trusted to the tireless care of the Humberto family. The emotion was apparent at this the graduation, the end festival, as the parents, staff and volunteers, some tearfully, showed their appreciation for the Foundation.

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