Unique Partnership Addresses Substance Abuse and Family Breakdown in Bolivia

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School officials in a large Bolivian city are working with staff of World Gospel Mission to develop and deliver a program designed to provide substance abuse awareness and to promote living healthy lives.

That's giving us a chance to make a huge impact on whole families. In the next year, we hope to offer this class to over 5,000 families in Tarija.

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School officials in a large Bolivian city are working with staff of World Gospel Mission to develop and deliver a program designed to provide substance abuse awareness and to promote living healthy lives.

The city of Tarija, Bolivia, is ranked second in the country for alcohol consumption. When substance abuse causes families to break apart, many children end up living on the streets. According to UNICEF, the vast majority of street children in Bolivia sniff glue or other substances to get high.

"Our partners in Bolivia report that children younger than 11 are becoming addicted to alcohol," said Tim Rickel, vice president of Development for WGM.

When WGM staff discovered that there was very little substance abuse education in the schools, they began working with local school officials. Together, they have developed an eight-week course for parents, called Healthy Life, that teaches them how to have a healthy life and family and includes a section on substance abuse education. The course is taught by Bolivian teachers who have been trained by WGM staff.

"In some of the schools we're working with, this class has become mandatory for all parents," said Rickel. "That's giving us a chance to make a huge impact on whole families. In the next year, we hope to offer this class to over 5,000 families in Tarija."

The eight-week class costs approximately $40 per parent and deals with issues such as anger management and conflict in addition to preventing substance abuse. This amount includes the cost of materials, snacks, and the salaries of the teachers. To get involved or to help more Bolivian parents have access to this program, please visit http://www.wgm.org.

WGM missionaries have been ministering in Bolivia since 1944.

About World Gospel Mission
World Gospel Mission disciples believers to become missions-active Christians. As an interdenominational missionary organization, WGM partners with individuals, small groups, college groups, and churches to intentionally address the physical and spiritual needs of individuals and communities. Learn more at http://www.wgm.org.

Rachel Elwood, Media Relations
World Gospel Mission
(765) 671-7255
http://www.wgm.org

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