March 3, 2014 was not an ordinary day in the Mbaracayú Forest Reserve. For the 50 girls who arrived with their families for the first time, it was rather the beginning of a new dream as they were welcomed as the first year class of the Mbaracayú Educational Center for 2014. The new students will live in the school for the next three years, where they will take part in classroom lessons as well as practical activities in the field which vary from working at the vegetable garden, welcoming and serving guests at the rural hotel located in the Reserve, organizing tour visits, working at the chicken coop, etc. The wide variety of activities performed as part of the school curriculum allows the girls to learn significant soft and hard skills needed to find decent employment and qualify for advanced education.
As the new group of girls was welcomed to the school by their peers from second and third year, they performed several ice-breakers and integration activities with the objective of creating a family environment for the girls to feel supported and loved as they enter their new home.
The families accompanied the girls throughout the day celebrating this new opportunity with the confidence that they will be prepared as future leaders of their communities. These girls receive all the personal affects and school supplies they need to be successful and make the best out of their education.
In the next three years, these young women will be ready to follow even greater career paths, as they will qualify for pursuing university degrees, a dream most of their families would not even dare to consider.
Please help them and their peers continue on the path of higher education by making it possible for them to achieve a seemingly impossible dream---to complete high school and attend the university.
For the third time in the still short life of our dear Mbaracayu Girls School of Environmental Entrepreneurs, it is with great pride and honor that we hereby present our Class of 2013.
Last Friday December 13th, 2013, 35 girls will say "mission accomplished!" and graduate with many dreams and hopes for a brilliant future, the future of prosperity that they have been preparing for during their 3 years at the school.
The girls will receive a Technical High School Diploma in Environmental Sciences, and from there, some will take jobs, others will pursue further studies, while still others will do both!
The generous contributions collected on the GlobalGiving site made this milestone for our school and for our graduates possible. Donations allow us to continue to invest in the improvement of the quality of the education provided at the Mbaracayu Girls School, as well as in its school-bases enterprises that make the school sustainable and also provide relevant training opportunities for the girls.
In closing, we invite you to join us in celebrating this beautiful group of girl entrepreneurs, youth of today, future leaders and change agents of tomorrow. They are the change we want to see in our beloved nation!
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!