We discovered yesterday on our tour of the Foundacion that the Bolivian Gov spend 5% of their budget on health. As a result getting ill in Bolivia is costly. Medicines, appointments, consultations and operations all cost money. For many in Trinidad, which is probably the poorest part of Bolivia; which is one of the poorest developed countries in South America, it means they can't afford to get ill.
Let me just state before I move on how much I under estimate our own NHS at home. If I get ill for whatever reason I can concentrate on getting better and not think about what it might cost and can I afford to get well? I'm not in anyway making a political statement here. I'm just personally reflecting on some of the things I take for granted in the UK.
Over the day we were given a tour around the work of Foundacion Totai. In essence it comprises of 3 main avenues of service.
Health - The Foundacion provides a low cost clinic for the surrounding community offering access to medical care to many who just can't afford to go to a municipal Dr or hospital. They offer general medicine,dentistry, physiotherapy and ear nose and throat treatments including surgery.
Sports - they run football and basketball teams for children in Trinidad and compete well in local leagues in the area. Each week those running the training sessions also have an opportunity to share God's Word with the teams. As we dropped into the basketball training they were hearing about the call of Samuel. Something I was reading about myself that morning.
The football season runs from May until November. At this point of the year they are in training for the start of the season. John Aitken got involved in one of the games yesterday - he even scored a goal. Unfortunately we didn't catch it on camera. Sorry John!!!
Community- this mainly comprises of a children's work with many of the kids from the area around the Foundacion. We dropped in on a session with about 30 children yesterday afternoon. They were hearing about Esther and I have to say their behaviour was excellent.
Anyway, I hope this gives a bit of an insight into the work of the Foundacion. I will go into a bit more detail tomorrow with some of the challenges they face as a team working in this area.
We had a lovely meal with Craig and Amanda in the town last night. My first taste of South American steak. It was excellent.
We are meeting with the Board of the Foundacion today (Thursday)
Enjoy your day.