WORD MADE FLESH
Bolivia has one of the highest poverty rates in Latin America. It is the poorest country in South America. 70% of its population lives on less than $3 USD per day. The city of El Alto sits on the fringe of the Bolivian Altiplano highlands high above its sister city of La Paz and hosts the largest indigenous population in Latin America, with over 1.2 million residents. Many of its inhabitants are transient farmers from the countryside, passing through the sprawling urban slum in search of work.
When unemployment disempowers and discrimination discourages them, many find themselves turning to drunkenness, violence, and the abundant brothels in the red light district. Between 3,000 – 4,000 women are registered sex workers in El Alto. Many have been tricked into prostitution through promises of lucrative employment, the need to feed their children, or their debts have accumulated with no other foreseeable way to pay them off. Most are single mothers who hide their work from family and friends. Over 90% of women in prostitution were sexually, physically, emotionally, and mentally abused as children. CECASEN, The Center for Training and Services for Women, estimates there are over twenty illicit human trafficking rings in El Alto alone.
Word Made Flesh’s Casa de Esperanza (House of Hope), in the red light district of El Alto, will serve on average 120 women and children affected by prostitution each month. Through its two programs, Presence (Awaken) and Paso a Paso (Heal), Word Made Flesh seeks to practice and proclaim the Kingdom of God among persons affected by prostitution through relationship and opportunities for holistic transformation.
At Casa de Esperanza, a long table spans the width of the dining room where everyone is invited to gather. Women and their children are offered a safe space for rest and hospitality. They partake in afternoon teas, discipleship, tutoring, sports, and a variety of workshops: cooking, knitting, life skills, parenting, domestic violence, budgeting, health, and nutrition. In addition, a social worker is available to support the women with their particular needs.
The counseling staff of Paso a Paso provides rehabilitation counseling and therapy by a licensed professional to women wanting to permanently leave the sex trade. They address the psychological effects of prostitution as victims of physical and mental abuse.
With both programs, Word Made Flesh places emphasis on empowering women to know and claim their full identity and to seek life in abundance that only the Lord provides.
This year, Wellspring International aims to provide $42,850 USD for Word Made Flesh to help fund activities of its Casa de Esperanza in the red light district of El Alto, Bolivia.
Please contact us for more information regarding this significant project.
“Where there’s hope, there’s life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.”
WORD MADE FLESH