Rural communities are in the desperate need of assistance since the pandemic. Almost 8% of the paraguayan population is considered in extreme poverty and most of them rely on informal jobs. This is the case of the communities surrounding Fundacion Paraguaya's Belen Agricultural School. Our objective is to assist 1,200 people by providing food and health kits and, also seeds to elaborate their own orchards. The school will provide all the technical support and become local agents of change.
To the date, Paraguay has reported 199 positive cases of COVID19 and 8 deaths. The country has suspended its activities almost completely since march 8th. At least 1,500 layoffs have been reported since strict measures where imposed. But the pandemic has laid bare the country's social inequalities. Approximately 65% of Paraguay's workers earn their living in the informal economy and have no access to benefits during the coronavirus crisis.
This project will allow these communities to access emergency relief kits such as health and food kits until they can generate income again. Also, some of these families don't have access to basic sanitary infrastructure or running water. Additionally, the Agricultural School will provide technical assistance for the communities to start their own orchards with the possibility of selling their products online, as the school is already doing with its student's products.
The project aims to build on the resilience of the paraguayan rural families, assisting them and building capacity for a long term economic relief. Family members will be trained by the school's students and staff on how to develop and maintain an orchard for self-consumption and for eventually selling their products. In the long-term this could become a more reliable source of income and healthier meals. We will have a direct impact in over 1,200 people, representing 300 families