Empowering Poor, Rural Girls in Paraguay

by Fundacion Paraguaya Vetted since 2009 Site Visit Verified
Official announcement of prize
Official announcement of prize

The Mbaracayú Educational Center was chosen as the winner of the tenth edition of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in the category of Global High Schools for the Americas region. The award ceremony was held on January 15 at 10:00 a.m. (local time) at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center, located in the capital of the Arab country.

The award seeks to recognize innovators in renewable energy and sustainability. The contest is part of the vision of the UAE and its commitment to find solutions that respond to the challenges of climate change, energy security and the environment. In ten years, the winners of the Zayed Future Energy Prize have had a positive impact on the lives of 307 million people around the world, according to the organization.

The winning proposal

For the proposal, the students identified the deficiency in the supply of electricity and hot water as a need in the area. To solve this, the presented project addresses energy security through the installation of a system of thermal solar panels for electricity and hot water, in addition to the assembly of gravity lights that do not require an external power source. In addition, it is proposed to plant trees of the native species Kupa'y (diesel tree) in the community, whose resin can be used for the production of biodiesel that will feed the generator and tractors of the school. The aim is to raise awareness about the sustainable use of natural resources among the inhabitants of areas close to the school.   This includes a system of thermal solar panels that will provide 15,500 Kw of electricity and 51,500 Kw of hot water at 55 degrees Celsius. It also includes the elaboration of a comic and puppet show, which will be part of the outreach efforts to share the lessons of sustainability with other schools.


Our representatives

The young women who represented the school in Abu Dhabi are 16-year-old Analía, from the town of Guayaibí, Department of San Pedro; and 17-year-old Pamela, from the city of Ypehû, Department of Canindeyú. Both are in the third year of the Technical Bachelor in Environmental Sciences. Pamela was in charge of receiving the award during the award ceremony. "I am very happy to have won the award, because this award is not just for me and my school, but for my community and my country," the student commented excitedly when thanking the organization of the contest. The students participated in the event wearing typical Paraguayan attire, as well as making presentations on the culture of our country. "We hope to know a lot about the Arab culture, and that they know about ours," said Pamela and Analía. They also participated in the Sustainability Week of Abu Dhabi, where they carried out various activities such as work tables, talks, conferences, among others.

Pamela accepts the prize on behalf of Mbaracayu
Pamela accepts the prize on behalf of Mbaracayu
Sandra receives her diploma
Sandra receives her diploma

On December 6, 2017, Sandra, a former student of the CEM (2011) and recipient of a scholarship from Fundación Paraguaya and the Department of Housing in Villa Rica, graduated from the National University of Villa Rica. She received her professional degree and gave a speech as the best graduate of her year in the School of Economic Sciences. CEM is very proud of Sandra, and of all graduates that have received their professional titles and also stand out as the best student.

We love to inform you of these success stories, and thanks to your support, we would love to continue offering these scholarship opportunities to more CEM graduates.

Nurys in her uniform
Nurys in her uniform

Nurys graduated from the class of 2015 and has been working in the capital city of Asunción for some time. She has quickly succeeded in her work, recently receiving a recognition offered by the clients of the local fast food joint in which she has been working for a year. She has received a recognition granted by the directors of his work. Nurys joins the list of students who excel in their work thanks to the learning and preparation they received at CEM. It is an achievement for girls who come from rural areas to make their way in the capital city. Our compliments to Nurys, and may more success continue to follow!

CEM grads participate at international fair
CEM grads participate at international fair

Graduates of the Center of Education Mbaracayu (CEM), from the classes of 2011, 2013, and 2014, Bianca, Neida and Ramona, presented at the 12th International Fair for Tourism, at the Festival of the Waterfalls, which took place in the city of Foz de Iguazu, Parana, Brazil. The graduates participated in this event thanks to their great work performance in the area of tourism at Fundación Moisés Bertoni, where they work successfully in tourism at the Moises Bertoni Scientific Monument and at the Mbaracayú Lodge.

The Festival is the largest fixed event in Foz do Iguaçu and the second largest in the southern region. Due to its geographic position of Brazil with Argentina and Paraguay, it allows the promotion of a business meeting between Mercosur tourism professionals. Focused mainly on generating business, strengthening and disseminating tourism at the national and international levels, it seeks sustainable development, emphasizes technological innovations, stimulates the production and dissemination of science, empowers professionals, positively impacting the entire tourism production chain. To have CEM graduates participate as star performers of the burgeoning tourism industry of Paraguay is very exciting!

Cirila with her certificate
Cirila with her certificate

Cirila, a 2011 graduate of the Mbaracayú School, received recognition from the US Embassy in Paraguay as part of the program Women for Change “She Rocks 2017” for being a woman who challenges gender stereotypes.  Cirila is a park ranger, one of two women park rangers of the Natural Forest Reserve of Mbaracayú, a job she began when she was 19 years old. Although she breaks stereotypes by doing a job commonly performed by men, she believes that her work is not difficult and that she is respected by all her male peers. She is dynamic, with a lot of predisposition and with leadership capacity.

"Women for Change #SheRocks 2017" is a campaign that seeks to distinguish the outstanding work of women in Paraguay; the outstanding women were honored at an event held at the Embassy for the Day of Women in Paraguay and International Women's Day.


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Organization Information

Fundacion Paraguaya

Location: Asuncion, Central - Paraguay
Website: http:/​/​www.fundacionparaguaya.org.py
Project Leader:
Luis Sanabria
General Manager
Asuncion, Paraguay
$35,526 raised of $95,000 goal
605 donations
$59,474 to go
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