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According to UNICEF, 59 per cent of the Bolivian population live under the poverty line. Due to the high altitude in La Paz, the majority of the Bolivian population not only have to deal with hunger, but also freezing temperatures all year round, leading to cases of hypothermia among those forced to live on the streets.

Blankets 4 Bolivia is a social enterprise established and run by a small group of students at the University of Sheffield. These students work with two groups of women in an enterprise which involves manufacturing thermal blankets from crisp packets.576079_533726083338279_392056771_n

Research carried out by the University of Sheffield’s Mechanical Engineering department shows that the crisp packet blankets are 1.5 times stronger and provide 3.5°C more insulation than a normal thermal blanket – which are otherwise imported from China.

According to UNICEF, 59 per cent of the Bolivian population live under the poverty line. Due to the high altitude in La Paz, the majority of the Bolivian population not only have to deal with hunger, but also freezing temperatures all year round, leading to cases of hypothermia among those forced to live on the streets.

559755_533730693337818_828699935_nBlankets 4 Bolivia is a social enterprise established and run by a small group of students at the University of Sheffield. These students work with two groups of women in an enterprise which involves manufacturing thermal blankets from crisp packets.

Research carried out by the University of Sheffield’s Mechanical Engineering department shows that the crisp packet blankets are 1.5 times stronger and provide 3.5°C more insulation than a normal thermal blanket – which are otherwise imported from China.

B4B targets three critical issues in Bolivia today: as well as attempting to combat hypothermia; the project strives towards the empowerment of native Bolivian women by providing them with a stable income; furthermore the waste material from a local crisps manufacturer is used in an effective and innovative way.

The project involves collaboration with CEPROSI, an organisation based in La Paz, who advocate gender equality throughout their work with women, specifically those who have been subjected to domestic abuse.

We, as University of Sheffield students, work with the aim of improving the lives which are affected by the social and economic issues in Bolivia. We currently strive to secure a financially stable income so the project can continue and grow with the prospect of helping more women.

If you would like to know more information about the project the links are available below for the Blankets 4 Bolivia WordPress and Facebook sites. Please contact Sanchia Zucker-Rodriguez on [email protected] for more details.

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WordPress: http://blankets4bolivia.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blankets-for-Bolivia/530013497042871