Years of abuse from his drug-addicted father had eaten away at 10-year-old Lucas’ soul, leaving him fearful, lonely, and hopeless. And Lucas isn’t the only one! Due to unhealthy cultural views and limited legal recourse for mistreated children in Bolivia, child abuse happens a lot.
A Legacy of Abuse
Check out these alarming statistics about child abuse in Bolivia.
- In Bolivia, 80% of children are victims of physical, sexual, or psychological violence.
- In Bolivia, 36% of deaths of kids under 5-years-old result from poverty-related diarrheal diseases.
For years, Lucas cared for his younger sister. At the same time, he received the brunt of hostility from his father, older brothers, and others who took advantage of his age and loneliness.
So, Lucas felt overwhelmed by “the responsibility to take care of his little sister, wash her clothes, and feed her.”
Eventually, Lucas discovered a church near his house (one of Bright Hope’s partner churches). He noticed their weekly activities like sports, carpentry classes, and Bible studies. Consequently, Lucas started going to church and built a relationship with the pastor and his wife, who cared for him like parents.
A Hope-Filled Future
Soon, Lucas began living at the church permanently through their Youth Care Project. When the pastors informed the authorities of Lucas’ abuse, they helped the church gain guardianship. As a result, he now receives love, education, and spiritual care.
The Youth Care Project currently houses, protects, and educates ten vulnerable kids just like Lucas. In addition, through the Gopher Carpentry Workshop, they learn valuable carpentry skills to earn income, build a sustainable career, and leave behind the legacy of poverty.
These amazing programs provide vulnerable youth with practical skills, spiritual mentorship, and emotional and physical protection.
Before he met Jesus, Lucas felt hopeless and alone. But now, 16-year-old Lucas shared: “I made the decision of serving the Lord because Jesus fills every need I have!” As Lucas finishes high school, he has dreams for a hopeful future.
We thank our amazing Allies for helping kids like Lucas go from hopeless to hopeful!
How can I help kids in Bolivia?
Help Bolivian children by supporting Bright Hope programs and partner churches.Donate Now