CEOLI, a center for disabled youth, was founded in 1986 as an oasis of caring, education, and help, and serves nearly 150 children and young adults in the Cochabamba area. CEOLI strives to not only support the disabled, but to work closely with families and the community to change the societal view of people with disabilities; to show all they are capable of rather than focusing on what they cannot do. As a non-profit organization, CEOLI relies on private donations and very minimal payments from the families of the mentally and physically challenged who are served.
Since 2003, longtime volunteers and supporters, Marvin and Martie Wachs, have been assisting CEOLI by seeking potential markets and buyers in the U.S. This is an opportunity for those in more fortunate circumstances and countries to extend a hand to young adults who are striving to work and earn their own way. In 2014, the Wachs transferred the project to Amizade in order to see it continue to expand and succeed.
Amizade has long-standing ties to CEOLI. One of CEOLI’s occupational therapy programs has grown into an opportunity for several young disabled Bolivian artists to earn wages to help support themselves, their families, and their communities. For several years, a small group of severely disabled young artists, led by talented art teachers, has been hand-painting greeting cards of typical Bolivian scenes. The different card designs feature Bolivian people in native dress, depict rural families and landscapes, and capture the vivid colors of Bolivian patterns and traditions.
A biography of an artist is included with the card so that you and your recipients know a little more about the community you are serving. These beautiful cards make a thoughtful gift and show your commitment to creating a more equitable world. Buy a pack of cards to distribute to friends, and always send two when you do; one from you, and one for your recipient to send or frame.
Whether you have served with Amizade in Bolivia, with one of our 15 other community partnerships across 12 countries, or are just another concerned citizen of the world, we can be sure to count on you to help sustain essential organizations such as CEOLI. Please help support the work of CEOLI, an Amizade partner organization.