This year, the Mbaracayú Educational Center graduated 35 students who received a high school diploma with emphasis in Environmental Sciences. These young rural entrepreneurs are fully equipped to and empowered to embark in new adventures such as the development of a new business, the start of a new decent job, and/or the possibility of furthering their knowledge and continue their studies in the university.
As an end of the year activity, right before graduation, the girls participated in an Entrepreneurship Forum where they were able to evaluate what they have learned in the school, and to share with the younger girls the knowledge and experience they acquired in relation to entrepreneurship and leadership skills such as the development of a personal budget or a business plan, the importance of setting clear life goals, and making personal projections.
Among these girls, Adriana from the department of San Pedro, a very poor and most conflict-ridden area of Paraguay, shared her dream of pursing university studies in hotel and management. She will be a senior next year, and the opportunity to work at the hotel run by the students at the Mbaracayú Educational Center has helped her discover a career path that she had not pictured before.
Another student comes from Asunción, she heard about CEM through an aunt. Maria shared with us that she was not confident about leaving the capital city at the beginning. However, as she is finishing up her second year of school, she is convinced that she made the right choice because she has made many new friends, and is now looking forward to the opportunity of going to the National University of Asunción and studying Environmental Science Engineering
At the end of the entrepreneurship forum, the third-year or senior class presented the “Business Plans” they are required to develop as part of the school curriculum. These business ideas included the opening of a bakery, and a cookies´ business named “Engatú” which in Aché, an indigenous language, means “very sweet”. These are some examples of the activities our students will be involved in next year and upon graduation. These are the young students that we are empowering with the support of our Global Giving friends!
As part of the practical curriculum of the all-girls Mbaracayú Educational Center, second-year students conduct different workshops and lectures on Environmental Education for other schools and educational institutions in the Mbaracayú Biosphere Reserve and its surroundings. Within the program “Community Outreach” and as part of the course “Environmental Education”, the girls attempt to raise awareness and teach younger members of their community about water conservation and other subjects related to the environment. They have already visited schools in the Yrybucua District of the department of San Pedro, as well as educational institutions in Curuguaty. For the remainder of the school year, they are planning to visit schools and high schools in the Brítez Cue and Villa Ygatimí communities. Rosica Roa, a second year student, believes that these activities help students like herself learn how to speak in public while increasing their confidence and developing leadership skills. Moreover, Rosica thinks this is a great way to give back to the community by sharing what is learned at the Mbaracayú Educational Center.
Thank you to our friends at GlobalGiving for their continued support to the girls and the Mbaracayú Educational Center!
Following up from our previous report, we would like to share with our wonderful donors more about Eulalia Piragui´s experience as she continues to pursue a teaching degree in a local institute in Villa Ygatimí, in the department of Canindeyú. Because a picture is worth a thousand words, we want to show the joy of Eulalia proudly sharing the amazing job she does with her students.
Eulalia is particularly proud and happy of the opportunity of being able to practice what she is learning in school already, as she currently has a position as a pre-school teacher in an indigenous community near the Mbaracayú Reserve where she teaches children ages 4 to 6 in the morning, and goes to the university at night.
This is nothing new for Eulalia who graduated from the Mbaracayú Educational Center in 2011, where, for 3 years, she studied and developed practical hands-on experience while “learning by doing” and working in the different school enterprises the school has developed.
With your support for graduates from the Mbaracayú School, especially for indigenous female students like Eulalia, we are empowering young girls and equipping them with a life-long entrepreneurial spirit to overcome poverty.