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
Students present their projects
Students present their projects

The Mbaracayu Educational Center (CEM) participated in the Paraguay Open Robotics technology event that took place on July 5 of this year.

This event is organized by the Los Laureles Educational Center and was sponsored by the National Secretary of Sports, the Ministry of Education and Science and Senatics and consists of two phases of participation: Exhibition and Competition.

The four CEM girls participated in two teams of two students each in the Exhibition mode. The works presented were:

  • Electronic stick to help people with visual disabilities based on the use of an Arduino board and distance sensors.
  • Robot garbage collector powered by a hydraulic system based on hypodermic syringes with water.

During the event, the Minister of Education, Eduardo Peta, who observed and interacted with the different teams in the showroom was present, being pleasantly surprised with the work shown there.

The event was held at the premises of the National Secretary of Sports, attending different schools throughout the country.

Finally, the Mbaracayu Educational Center received a mention as an Outstanding Institution, by the judges of the event, publishing the results on the Facebook fanpage of the Los Laureles Educational Center.

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Students practice coding during Tech Bootcamp
Students practice coding during Tech Bootcamp

6 current students and one graduate, in total 7 girls from Center of Education Mbaracayú (CEM), were selected to participate in the Penguin Bootcamp, held in Asunción. Fundación Paraguaya has teamed up with Penguin Academy to bring a prestigious and innovative technology workshop to Paraguay. Penguin Programming Bootcamps are intensive courses of programming that lasted 2 weeks and took participants from a level of "zero experience" to be ready to start a technology internship.

The course was held at the Casa de Nómadas in Asunción from May 6 to 22. The projects carried out by the CEM students during the bootcamp were presented at the Cerrito Forum 2019, where they were 1st and 2nd place winners.

Penguin staff guides students through coding
Penguin staff guides students through coding
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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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Organization Information

Fundacion Paraguaya

Location: Asuncion, Central - Paraguay
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Luis Sanabria
General Manager
Asuncion, NA Paraguay
$20,524 raised of $90,000 goal
106 donations
$69,476 to go
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