One of the neatest blessings we have at Casa de Amor is the constant flow of donated clothes, shoes, socks, hats, pajamas, etc. This means that means our donated funds are very rarely touched for these expenses. AND we have the best-dressed kids in Cochabamba because often the items are name-brand!
The only challenge we generally have is to properly clothe and shoe our children for school, as all schools in Bolivia have a uniform policy. This year we have 13 going to pre-kindergarten and up and the school year has just begun! (The Bolivian school year begins in February, takes a mid-year winter break, and resumes again until November.)
My ever-frugal office staff contacted Monaco, a shoe manufacturer here in Bolivia, and requested a discount for Casa de Amor. They agreed to sell us the two pairs of shoes each child needs at a 25% discount. Even so, the final amount is staggering: $500 for 30 pair of leather shoes for school!!
For the specific clothing needed and the "aprons" that go over the clothes to create the school uniforms, we've spent $185.
For school supplies, we will spend over $300 by the time we complete purchases of the school supply lists still coming in to us. (Several of our Casa de Amor II children are going to special schools for their special learning needs.)
Dividing these amounts by our 13 school age children, the extra expense per child is approximately $75.
There are many who tell us "please let me know of a need"...so here you go!! The higher expense than usual this year is putting a strain on our regular budget.
If all the sponsors of school age children could add a bit to their regular support this month, it would go a long way in offsetting this expense.