Refugio Rafael provides a secure, nurturing environment for families while also providing community wide opportunities for economic and educational development.
Refugio Rafael is a non-profit project under the direction of the Allyu Foundation of Bolivia and supported by Global Gallery of Columbus, Ohio.
Allyu Foundation Board Members: Aleida Poma, Edy Crespo, Ernesto Inochea, Connie DeJong, Mario Delgado, and Susan Zavotka
In 2006, the Paredes family of Cochabamba, Bolivia, first introduced themselves to Global Gallery while traveling the USA selling handcrafts to fair trade stores. A few years later, Dr. Connie De Jong, then Global Gallery’s Executive Director, met with the Paredes in Bolivia, visited several Quechua communities and learned about the needs of Bolivian families. The idea of support from Global Gallery was initiated.
During the next 10 years through various fundraising efforts, Global Gallery (under the guidance of Ralph and Connie DeJong) was able to donate funds for construction of a two-unit, family-style home and recreation space, as well as a community building with after-school classrooms and medical clinic. The Paredes family generously donated the land. Volunteers from Cochabamba and the US labored at the site to help with construction.
Today the Refuge offers a home to four families, after school classes and play facilities for 100 children, medical assistance, and economic opportunities through a bakery, garden and artisan center. Building projects continue. More than 50 volunteers from the United States, Bolivia, and around the world have particpated in service projects
The Bolivian/USA Partnership
A common cause to help the Quetchua community has led to strong friendships and a partnerships that allows the community to maintain their cultural identity while building a better future.
Felix and Flora Paredes, Cochabamba, Bolivia. Felix and Flora are Fair Trade Artisans. They initiated the concept of Refugio Raphael and generously donated land for the project.
Ralph Dejong, Columbus, Ohio.
As board member of Global Gallery, Ralph manages the project funds. He is also the Construction Project Manager for service trips.
Claribel Inochea, Binto, Bolivia.
Claribel is lead teacher in the after school program. She also assists her father in the needs of families.
Ernesto Inochea, Binto, Bolivia.
As Director of the program, Ernesto runs the after school program, assists families with medical, social and economic needs. He also manages the on-going construction projects of the refuge.
Connie DeJong, Columbus, Ohio.
As chief liason to the Bolivian partners, Connie oversees the legal and organizational aspects, Fair Trade Artisan project, and organizes the service trips.