Funprobo has it's roots in a group of friends from La Paz who wanted to provide prosthetics for free to people in Bolivia. In 1994 two prosthetists and a doctor decided to open a clinic with initial support and a grant from the Rotary Club in La Paz. To enable the clinic to be successful, the two prosthetists travelled to India with the Mukti Foundation to learn more about the trade, then they returned to La Paz and opened the door to their clinic for a month each year and were able to provide prosthetics for up to 20 of the most vulnerable amputees. Each year the group would open for as much time as they managed to find funds to be able to, and this continued for 17 years.
In 2010 an American traveller, Matthew Pepe, who was taking some time off work decided to visit Bolivia. He had volunteered with the project as part of his travels, enthused with the possibilities of what this clinic could achieve with more funds and more time, he made it his mission to facilitate this small monthly clinic into a full time prosthetic centre. He shared this vision with Dante and Ivonne Chumacero, who have dedicated their lives to supporting their community and their country, and together they set Funprobo up as what it is today.
This team are still a strong unit, with Ivonne managing and leading the clinic, Dante being the medical support and the President and Matt through his own finances and campaigning has managed to secure enough to keep the charity open all year round every year since then.
At the end of 2017 Matthew Pepe decided to step aside from Funprobo. We wish to thank him from ourselves and all the Bolivian people he has helped over these years, and promise him that we will continue to forge ahead with his vision.
By 2018 we have helped hundreds of patients, from all over Bolivia and South America; all this with just four dedicated permanent members of staff and a steady stream of wonderful volunteers from all over the world. In December 2016 the clinic moved to a new site with more space which has allowed more and more people to benefit from the charity. However, there is still more demand for our help than what we can provide.
With the help of the Alaya Foundation (previously Share a Dream) we have been able to send a student to formally study prosthetics at Don Bosco University in El Salvador. Bismark is making us proud everyday and working so hard to help Funprobo to further its position in the world. This will allow the clinic to register with the International Society of Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) and open more doors for us with international awareness and support.
This is where you come in. Funprobo would not be running now if it wasn’t for the previous hours of volunteering, fundraising, information sharing and awareness across the world from you, our supporters of our charity and our vision. Please click here to see how you can help.
Ivonne is a founding member of the charity, she is also the manager and is at the clinic every day.
Florencio is a prosthetist who been working with the charity since it's inception. He is an amputee himself from an early age so really understands what patients are going through.
Bismark is a prosthetist currently working towards a qualification. He is the future of Funbrobo he works at the clinic as well as studying for his qualification.
Carminia has worked at the clinic for a long time. She helps where ever she is needed in both the clinic and the workshop.