Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Children Go To School, Families Get Paid

Latin America has implemented a social program that is helping out the poorest in their countries, it has different names depending on the country but all are a variation of Bolsa Familia. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and Chilean President Muchelle Bachelet spoke Tuesday at a forum supporting the program. There are conditions to this anti-poverty government funded program, the children must attend school and have twice a year health exam and receive proper vaccinations against diseases. It varies in response in each country, but has wide support by both the poor and other world leaders because it makes the poor do something productive in order to receive the aid. The payments typically go to women, who are more trusted to use the money to provide food and medicine for their families. So far the program has been somewhat successful, with more children being vaccinated and higher school enrollments. There is still much to be done, because although the children are now attending school, there needs to be improvements in the quality of the education being provided. It is still a step in the right direction, having children in school is better than making them come home to work and feed their family, which the money from the program assists with.

-Sara Frodge