Bolivia has cut poverty by a quarter in the last decade, but still remains one of the poorest countries in South America. There are more than 800,000 underage workers in Bolivia. Many of them are homeless and have to fend for themselves.
But one man is making sure these kids are not alone and are reaching for a higher goal. This week’s “Game Changer” is Jaime Villalobos. He is the director and founder of Hormigon Armado, a newspaper helping street kids and working children in La Paz, Bolivia.
During his time in England, Villalobos saw a local magazine called the “Big Issue” sold by the homeless, where they’re able to keep 50 percent of the profit from the publication. Villalobos decided to bring that idea home with him, focusing on kids in the streets of Bolivia.
Newspaper founder helping La Paz street kidsOne man is making sure kids are not alone and are reaching for a higher goal. This week’s “Game Changer” is Jaime Villalobos. He is the director and founder of Hormigon Armado, a newspaper helping street kids and working children in La Paz, Bolivia.
He said being in Bolivia has taught him that there are many children in very bad conditions. “I think it’s the biggest hell for children, to grow up in the streets of La Paz,” Villalobos says. He felt it was time to do something. “I thought it was my responsibility to not just ignore it, not just do nothing about it. So we got a group of friends together and we came up with this project to help these kids.”
Around 5,000 newspapers are given to the local street kids and shoe shiners. They sell it and keep 75 percent of the profits. The rest goes into a health care fund. “Profits of each edition reach $3,000 monthly. Not a bad amount of money in Bolivia,” he says.
Villalobos wants to ensure the kids he mentors will be able to have a solid experience working with the publication and continue to take a positive path towards success. This week’s “Game Changer,” is Jaime Villalobos.