Help Poor Rural Girls in Paraguay go to University

by Fundacion Paraguaya
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Help Poor Rural Girls in Paraguay go to University
Help Poor Rural Girls in Paraguay go to University
Help Poor Rural Girls in Paraguay go to University
Help Poor Rural Girls in Paraguay go to University
Help Poor Rural Girls in Paraguay go to University
Celebratory parade of alumni
Celebratory parade of alumni

In 2009, a dream that seemed impossible began, a women's school in the middle of the forest of the Mbaracayú Reserve, with a clear vision of transforming them into agents of sustainable development and protection of the environment.

Since then, 280 students have graduated, among them young women from rural areas, peasants, indigenous Aché and Guaraníes, Paraguayan, Brasiguayas, Brazilian, Bolivian representatives, and a fantastic multicultural variety that enriches diversity. In commemoration of the 10th anniversary, an initiative of all alumni was organized: a reunion and parade of graduates in the city of Villa Ygatimi. Approximately 50 graduates attended, accompanied by the current 120 students and the current teaching staff. At the end of the parade, a community activity was carried out in the community square, which consisted in the improvement of the plaza, the placement of garbage cans and the planting of small trees. During the year we plan to continue this type of community activities. It was attended by the Mayor and local government representatives. In addition to this particular activity, throughout the year we will celebrate the 10 years of the institution with different actions.

Alumni of CEM
Alumni of CEM
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The CEM Class of 2018!
The CEM Class of 2018!

On Friday December 14, 2018, the graduation ceremony of the Mbaracayú Educational Center was held, in which over 30 young women from the area of the Mbaracayú Reserve received their Bachelor's degree in Environmental Sciences.

In rural areas, receiving a bachelor's degree is a challenge for young women, so this graduation means a very important achievement for the families and communities to which they belong, They now have environmental technical skills and stand out for their knowledge and leadership.

This is the eighth group of graduates from the school, which, since 2009, has been changing the lives of adolescents in an environment of vulnerability, affected by the gender inequality that is common in the area.

The event was held at the Mbaracayú Educational Center (CEM) located in the Mbaracayú Forest Natural Reserve. Dozens of relatives and friends of the graduates accompanied the ceremony, in addition to the school staff and the Moisés Bertoni Foundation.

Processional of the Graduates
Processional of the Graduates
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The Moisés Bertoni Foundation was chosen as the winner of the BBVA Foundation Awards for the Conservation of Biodiversity XIII edition. The Foundation is the first Paraguayan organization to gain access to the award to which many institutions of the world apply. The award was given for the management model developed during its 30 years of activity, specifically in its management of Mbaracayú Reserve where the Educational Center Mbaracayú is located.

The award was confirmed on October 1, 2018. The Moisés Bertoni Foundation (FMB) was chosen as the winner of the BBVA Foundation Awards for the Conservation of Biodiversity. The contest was held in Madrid, Spain. The award annually recognizes worldwide the work of organizations and institutions focused on conservation.

The Moisés Bertoni Foundation, with 30 years of institutional life, is a private and non-profit association that bets on the concept of Sustainable Development, which is understood as the process of creating environmental, social and economic value. "This recognition leaves a clear message: Paraguay also generates innovative ideas that can greatly contribute to the growth and conservation of biodiversity," said Yan Speranza, executive director of the Foundation. 

"They called me directly from the Board of Directors from Spain and they told me that they were really surprised by our work, particularly because of that systemic and very entrepreneurial vision within the framework of conservation," said the director. He added that the award comes at a very opportune moment considering that the pressures against protected areas have grown substantially in aspects such as illegal plantations, the presence of poachers. He emphasized that "the levels of violence that have been increasing with extremely tragic outcomes for us in particular, such as the death of three park rangers in the last five years (one in Mbaracayú and two in the Tapyta Reserve) in pursuit of protection, precisely , of our natural resources. " 

In 2008, the Mbaracayú Educational Center project was launched, which seeks to offer quality education for adolescent women from areas surrounding the area of influence, believing that they are agents of change for the conservation of biodiversity and forest protection. The school has the recognition of the Ministry of Education and Science (MEC) and offers a technical baccalaureate in environmental sciences with emphasis on agroecology and nature tourism. The institution is located in the middle of the Reserve and until 2017, 243 students have graduated. 

During the candidacy the FMB was supported by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS Paraguay), WWF - Paraguay, the Paraguay Biodiversity program (promoted by Itaipu), and the program of the Program on Man and the Biosphere (MAB) (through of its chapter in Paraguay).

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Students awarded by Ministry of Education
Students awarded by Ministry of Education

The students of the Mbaracayu School, winner of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, received recognition from the Ministry of Education and Science (MEC). The prize won by the students, in the category of Global High Schools of the competition, consisted of 100,000 USD for the implementation of the project "Renewable Energies and Sustainability in the Mbaracayu Educational Center". The winning proposal consists of the installation of a system of thermal solar panels that will provide electric power and hot water, providing a solution to the deficiency in the supply of electricity and hot water. In addition, they propose to plant trees of the native species Kupa`y, known as diesel tree, whose resin can be used for the production of biodiesel that will feed the generator and tractors of the school. The project also includes the assembly of gravity lights, which do not require an external power source. Finally, the elaboration and distribution of an educational kit containing a comic that, together with a puppet show, will be used for the dissemination of sustainability in its area of influence, is planned. Minister Raul Aguilera participated in the event, who mentioned "I send a strong message to the educational community to be encouraged to dream like you. When this project was born, you probably would not have imagined the impact it would have on other young people who are looking and are reviewing that an idea becomes a project, an activity, and today is an icon of the entire Republic of Paraguay." "If you and the people give us a little support I think we young people, and especially women, can make changes in the country and in the world, because what's bigger than starting to dream from a young age. For this I would also like to thank the school and the Moises Bertoni Foundation for giving us the opportunity to participate in this great project," said Pamela, a student at the school.

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Mbaracayu students share their project with judges
Mbaracayu students share their project with judges

The robotics team participated in the final of the National Robotics competition held on March 3 and 4, achieving the 3rd place in its category. In addition, they were awarded the prize for Excellence, also having won it in July 2017, a prize awarded at the end of each competition to the team that has scored better in terms of original and functional design of the robot, record of the Engineering Notebook, programming and compliance of safety instructions and rules during meetings. 

Two of the girls that make up the team, 3rd years Mariana and Adriana were also invited during the event of a GRAMO space to share with the attendees at FESTECH their stories of how Robotics has changed their lives. The Mbaracayu team is the only team composed exclusively of girls, which generally produces astonishment among the participants and the public that attends the different events. This characteristic fills them with pride and encourages them to continue to improve. The continue to achieve good scores in competitions where they remain between the third and fourth place in their category. In addition, the team is very well cataloged by the judges for their good behavior, knowledge, teamwork, and adherence to the rules of the competition. The inauguration of the Robotics Academy at the School represents a qualitative leap in technology and inclusive education.

Mbaracayu students present at GRAMO
Mbaracayu students present at GRAMO
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Organization Information

Fundacion Paraguaya

Location: Asuncion, Central - Paraguay
Website:
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Project Leader:
Luis Sanabria
General Manager
Asuncion, NA Paraguay
$20,300 raised of $90,000 goal
 
103 donations
$69,700 to go
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