Rusber grew up on the streets of Cochabamba with his alcoholic parents. When his mother was killed in a road traffic accident and his father abandoned him, he was taken into care by the man who ran over his mother. He was beaten regularly by this man, and one day decided to get on a bus and leave Cochabamba, with no idea of where he was going.
By sheer coincidence he ended up in Villa Tunari where was offered board, in return for selling ice creams outside of Parque Machia. He got to know a Bolivian volunteer who introduced him to Nena. Rusber’s personality, warm character and intelligence quickly stole Nena’s heart and she took him in.
Rusber is now an integral part of Inti Wara Yassi’s family. He spends his days balancing school attendance and homework with working with the spider and capuchin monkeys in the park, and is highly respected by monkeys and volunteers alike for his hard work, sense of humour and tree climbing ability! Rusber’s dream is to become a vet.
Jaime grew up in Oruro, but at the age of 11 his father passed away, leaving him alone to look after his mother and their home. After some time his sister came and brought him to San Pedro, in order for him to look for work. Whilst looking for work he met Verónica and Juan Carlos, who told him about Parque Ambue Ari, and gave him the opportunity to come and live at the park, where he could help with the animals and also receive an education.
After working in the park for some time he missed his home in Oruro, so went back and worked there for a year. But after this time he missed the park so much that he decided to come back. When he returned Jaime was 14 and started working with Rupi the Jaguar, who he raised and still has an incredible relationship with. Jaime has recently returned to Ambue Ari, but wants to go to university next year.
Rusben and Jaime's stories are not unique; many children and youth have dedicated countless hours to working for the good of the animals across CIWY’s refuges since its foundation, and have considered CIWY to be their home and family.
These youngsters have juggled their duties caring for the animals with school attendance and homework, and whilst other children have spent their evenings playing football and meeting friends, these kids have been helping with chores and the running of camp.
What is the Youth Development Fund?
Whilst CIWY is proud to have given been able to give these youngsters a stable home, a community to grow up in and teach them values such as honesty, loyalty, love and a good work ethic, we feel that we could do more, with your help, to prepare these kids for a future in which they can provide for themselves and their future families and the future of CIWY!
The Youth Development Fund will raise funds in order for these youth to attend higher education once they have completed their school studies. The fund welcomes one off donations, but would like to encourage regular donations to provide ongoing support and funding for education.
This fund will be managed by the CIWY foundation and its directors, to ensure that benefit is provided across the board, and at times when specific individuals need it most. We will provide regular updates on this page to report back on the progress and success of everyone who benefits from your generosity.
These youth are the future of CIWY. Please help make a positive difference to their lives and the future of CIWY!
How do I donate?
Please click here to set up a subscription donation via paypal, or make a one off donation by clicking this button.
IMPORTANT: Please send an email entitled YDF to firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know that you would like your subscription payment, or one off donation to go towards the Youth Development Fund!
Many thanks for your support!