In order to counteract the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mbaracayú Educational Center continues to innovate in various fields. Since 2021, we have been implementing the “Mandala Gardens” with the help of the Guayakí team, which improves the use of space and resources in the vegetable plantation.
This planting method optimizes the use of water, improves the access to sunlight, and entails a variety of nutritional benefits for the plants. The main characteristic of this method is the circular shape with functional corridors to connect the furrows with each other. Additionally, the method allows for a diversity of species to be cultivated in a small place, since it has integrated crops that do not leave the soil bare, resulting in abundant harvests.
In addition to learning about sustainable agricultural practices, students get exposed to other cultures and appreciate the value of their customs. In this case, the Indian culture uses the word “Mandala” when referring to a sacred circle of energy used for meditation.
As the Mbaracayú Educational Center promotes biodiversity conservation, the Mandala Gardens encourage the coexistence of humans with nature in an ecological community.
The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply affected educational systems worldwide, forcing schools to shift their conventional methods of in-person teaching to digital pedagogy. Additionally, they had to reinvent themselves to make learning interesting and to adopt the necessary safety measures for students to return to in-person classes. All of these changes have required a bigger commitment from teachers, students, and other school staff.
The Mbaracayú Educational Center has been resilient to changes and adversities and it has continued with its mission of providing quality education to poor rural girls throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Without the students’ determination, however, this would not have been possible. Today, we want to tell the story of the 2021 class students.
The girls from the 2021 class had just started high school when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. It was a very difficult and uncertain period of time for students as well as for the teaching staff. The school made a big effort to keep in touch with the students so they would not fall behind in school. In some cases that the student could not be contacted, the teachers would print the class material and take it to their villages.
The following year, the school adopted a hybrid learning format. This allowed students to go back to school for in-person classes, even if that was only for a portion of the school year.
We want to recognize the amazing effort and perseverance of these girls. Last year, all 49 of them graduated from Mbaracayú Educational Center with an Environmental Science degree.
In September, the students of The Centro Educativo Mbaracayu (located in the center of the Mbaracayú National Forest Reserve of Paraguay), participated in the “Expressions of Empowerment” competition, an initiative from the International Youth Think Tank (IYTT), which purpose was to showcase unique innovative venture to transform academically founded arguments into artistic expressions.
The International Youth Think Tank (IYTT) is a Gothenburg-based initiative that mobilizes young people towards the goal of promoting a democratic movement based on the values of the open society.
These were the students who took part of this competition, Roció Casagrante, Diana Villalba, Cessia Aramí López, Carolina Mbyvangi, Ester Tykuarangi, Jazmín Torres and Carina Bejaro. Their project is a beautiful artwork, which was made with Aché Arroyo Bandera and Avá Guaraní community wood-carving techniques. This artistic expression has been one of eleven selected pieces out of a total of twenty-six sent from around the world.
The Mbaracayu School continues to make its best efforts to continue providing education to female students from nearby communities.
The situation of the country has not changed much, the risk of spreading the virus and deaths remain high. Vaccinations have started but are not yet available for young people. In general, educational institutions have adapted, but distance classes are still difficult. The economy has improved a bit but a long recovery is expected.
We started the year with a mixed modality of face-to-face and virtual classes, the Mbaracayu school has been forced to suspend this methodology due to COVID infections among female students. Classes are held only remotely, taking care of the well-being of their students. Using different media and digital platforms, teachers continue their lesson plan. Carrying out follow-ups by Whatsapp and telephone consultations.
The School is expected to receive students again at the boarding school starting in August.
Given the consequences of the pandemic and the difficulties that virtual classes entail, donations were used in the previous period for the installation of a student management portal at the Mbaracayu School.
After the first stage of installation and especially the asociation to the portal, in conjunction with a general (face-to-face) training for the teachers, we continued to a second stage. In this period, two (virtual) trainings were carried out for teachers to reinforce and use the portal's functions, with the aim that teachers can correctly handle the portal and familiarize students with it. It also start the uploading personal and school information for each of the students.
Finally, once the installation and training stages are concluded, the beginning of the school year is expected to start with the use of the portal. This year the school applies the hybrid class system. This means that there will be both face-to-face and virtual classes.
The students will begin their return to class with a training on the functions of the student administration system.
The portal promotes the administration of student information and generates greater ease of contact between student / teacher.
The beneficiaries from this project are teachers (10) and all students (50) of the Mbaracayu School. The ages between 15 to 18 years old, and 32 to 58 years old.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.
Get Reports via Email
We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.
Give the gift of stability in a time of instability. Set up an automatic, monthly gift now and get matched at 100%—because the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt us all, and it will take all of us to overcome it. Terms and conditions apply.
Monthly giving is as easy, safe, and as inexpensive as a Netflix subscription. Start a monthly donation to Fundacion Paraguaya today and get matched at 100%. Terms and conditions apply.