In the last old growth forest zone of Paraguay, 90% of girls are pregnant by age 14. Others are sold into the human trafficking trade, work in prostitution, married off at a young age, or working grueling hours taking care of the country's privileged class as maids and nannies. Our financially self-sustaining agroforestry school in Paraguay's Mbaracayu Forest Reserve empowers and provides a skill base for the country's poorest and most vulnerable girls to overcome extreme poverty.
Girls in this region of Paraguay simply do not have access to education beyond a junior high school level, and many do not have access to any level of education at all. These girls are especially vulnerable to exploitation and abuses, and in the best case scenario a marginalized life of extreme poverty. The program thus far has served Ache and, Ava Guarani indigenous groups, Brazilians, Bolivians, and poor rural farm girls from mixed ethnic backgrounds.
The school strives to produce graduates who are100% employable and/or bound for higher education. The boarding school equips the participants with practical and entrepreneurial experiences, technical training, and the ability to sustain a higher socio-economic status over the long run.
Four months after graduation, the 50 high school girls who graduate each year will have good jobs in agro-forestry, have started their own rural enterprises and/or be at university. The school uses small-scale, on-campus agro-forestry enterprises as a platform for girls to develop the technical, financial and entrepreneurial skills required for economic success.The school will be financially self-sufficient in 5 years, which means that the benefits continue in perpetuity.
This project has provided additional documentation in a Microsoft Word file (projdoc.doc).