In much of the United States, access to health care is often taken for granted. But in many South American countries, that access is far from a given.
That’s where Solidarity Bridge comes in. Their mission is to train, equip and empower the medical communities in Bolivia and Paraguay to serve the most needy. This is achieved through domestic and international partnerships, metaphorically bridging the distance—both literal and figurative—between North and South America. And that’s why they were chosen as the 2014 Philanthropy Award winner in the Social Justice category. They are truly making a difference.
Mission teams long ago discovered the connection between poverty and ill health in Bolivia. So Solidarity Bridge, which was formed in 1999, partners with hospitals and doctors—many of who give freely and generously of their skills and resources—in South America’s poorest countries, Bolivia and Paraguay. They also work with U.S. foundations and corporate partners to help make this good work possible through sponsorships, in-kind donations and monetary contributions. Solidarity Bridge also partners with Doctors Without Borders to combat the transmission of Chagas disease in Bolivia.
They are a very inclusive organization. Although (according to their website) they are “rooted in the Catholic faith and its tradition of social justice,” they “welcome participants, partners and patients regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, or age.”
Solidarity Bridge is true to their vision statement; they do indeed “transform lives by promoting solidarity and justice through experiences of service and healing.” It is their hope that easing the pain of others and providing necessary medical services to those living in poverty will strengthen the communities that they serve.
Solidarity Bridge By the Numbers
- Since 1999, 60,857 patients were served
- 379 missioners went on 68 separate trips
- 4661 surgeries were performed
- More than $31 million in medical supplies donated