In Bolivia, Mission 21 collaborates with four partner organisations on projects that are mainly concerned with food sovereignty. Geographically, our commitment is focused on the Department of La Paz. The highland region is severely impacted by poverty. Mission 21's projects benefit the indigenous rural population in particular, because the consequences of climate change are making it more difficult for them to maintain their traditional self-sufficient lifestyle.
The Department of La Paz is one of Bolivia's poorest regions. Conditions for agricultural production are difficult due to the altitude and the consequences of climate change. Large numbers of people are fighting for survival not only in the countryside but also in the city. This is why Mission 21 and its partners focus on food sovereignty.
Our agricultural advisers adopt an approach based on organic guidelines. The agroecological cultivation methods that they teach are adapted to climate change, and they also integrate and respect the agricultural practices of the local population. Thanks to projects run by Mission 21 and its partner organisations, people can benefit from a healthier and more balanced diet. In addition, surpluses can be sold at local and regional markets, enabling people affected by poverty to earn additional income.
Strengthening the indigenous population
More than 60% of Bolivia's population is of indigenous origin. Officially, the government has been attempting to help the indigenous population to become more involved in political decisions for several years now. Sad to say, the reality is still quite different: of all population groups, rural indigenous people suffer the greatest political and economic disadvantages. This is why Mission 21's work aims to strengthen Bolivia's indigenous population in particular, because they are afflicted by poverty to an exceptional degree.
Empowering women in Bolivia
In many Bolivian families, women shoulder a large share of the responsibilities – so it is they too who have to do most to combat rampant poverty. This is why Mission 21 and its partner organisations run projects with a particular focus on women in the Department of La Paz. Courses on agriculture and handicrafts enable them to acquire new knowledge and useful skills. As a result, the women can earn their living and provide better care for their children. They also gain more self-confidence and learn to take on responsibilities in the community.
Religion and development
All of Mission 21's partner organisations in Bolivia are faith-based organisations. Mission 21 is firmly convinced that religion and faith can have a positive impact on social processes. But not always: charismatic Pentecostal churches that propagate a conservative ideology are also on the rise in Bolivia. In response, Mission 21 promotes an ecumenical, reflective and liberating theology. In this way, it makes an important contribution towards combating the dangerous trend of religious radicalisation. Indigenous spirituality also plays a key part in many projects in Bolivia.
Professional support from Mission 21
Mission 21 guarantees professional support for its partner organisations in Bolivia. A Coordination Office with an excellent network of local contacts brings representatives of civil society, the partner organisations and the authorities together at the same table to enhance the impact of their joint work. If specific expertise is required, the office calls in advisers and assists them with preliminary investigations and evaluations.