Help Age actions in Bolivia

HelpAge has worked in Bolivia since 1991, supporting the most vulnerable older people through a network of affiliates and partners. HelpAge in Bolivia works on the following areas:

  • Rights and governance: Promoting and reinforcing older people’s rights.
  • Secure incomes: Developing ways for older people to earn an income, so they can live secure and dignified lives.
  • Health: Ensuring older people’s access to the Older People’s Health Insurance (SSPAM).
  • Disaster risk reduction, emergencies and climate change: Supporting the reduction of older people’s vulnerability to natural disasters.
  • Gender: Promoting the empowerment of older women.
  • Migration: Mitigating the impact of migration on older people and their grandchildren.

Life story: Nora, 65

nora

Nora now knows how to respond to disasters, such as landslides

Nora, 65, raised her children on her own and supported them by loading minerals in the mines near La Paz. She has taken part in training sessions organised by HelpAge and the municipal government to prevent and respond to disasters. These groups of trained older people or “White Brigades” were first set up after a landslide happened in 2011.

“When the landslide happened, we didn’t know what to do. We were all very nervous. We were told that we had to leave our houses, but some of us didn’t want to. It was terrible; no one knew how to react.

“I looked for a training course to become part of the brigades to learn how to prevent disasters and help others. During this kind of events, I realised that older people do not get much help,” said Nora.

Older people receive training to register and identify vulnerable older people, recognise risks, develop emergency plans and organise emergency drills.

landslide bolivia

“This is a very helpful activity, as now we know how to take care of ourselves and face disasters. We know what to do and how to escape from dangerous places. Above all, we know how to help each other,” says Nora.

Supporting older people in Bolivia

Rights

  • We have set up a further 11 socio-legal centres this year to provide older people with information and services on their rights and entitlements. This brings the total number to 34 across the country.
  • Around 11,500 cases of rights violations have already been dealt with by the centres.

Health

  • We supported the Ministry of Health on the implementation of the Older People’s Health Insurance, which has had a 65% increase in membership.