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
Silvani and her sister Venancia
Silvani and her sister Venancia

During her time at Mbaracayú, recent graduate Silvani Gimenez’s love for orchids prompted her to develop, oversee, and care for the school’s beautiful display of orchid species found in the Mbaracayú forest. She led an expedition of classmates into the forest and discovered 5 new species of orchids to add to the 26 already documented ones. Her work will be published in the 2012 guide to orchids native to the Mbaracayú forest. Silvani and the other students involved in the study and care of the forests orchids work closely with Fundación Bertoni in the area of research and conservation.

Silvani comes from a family of eight siblings. Her oldest 4 brothers never had an opportunity to study, while one of her younger sisters, Venancia, is a student at Mbaracayu’s Girls School, following in Silvani’s footsteps. Silvani hopes to begin her university studies in February, 2012. Please help Silvani and others like her realize their dreams of continuing their education.

Orchids preserved in the school's display
Orchids preserved in the school's display
Silvani tends to the school's orchids
Silvani tends to the school's orchids
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Raquel and Marisa, graduates from Ache community
Raquel and Marisa, graduates from Ache community

The Aché people are traditional hunter-gatherers indigenous to the Atlantic coastal forests of eastern Paraguay, primarily in the Mbaracayú region. The Aché population is approximately 1600 people. They have had an uphill battle against human rights violations, land rights violations, and extreme poverty.

The school is fortunate to serve several students from the Aché community, and for the students to share their culture with their peers.  Among our recent graduates, there are seven young Aché women, most are the first ever to finish high school in their families. All seven of them hope to go on to university. They are: Marisa Tykuarangui, Raquel Eiragui, Pablina Myvangi, Rufina Tatugi, Adriana Yapegui, Eulalia Piragui, Yolanda Yacuchangui. The last three are young mothers who made great sacrifices in order to offer their children a better life.

The two young women featured in this photo are Raquel Eiragi, and Marisa Tykuarangi, who is the first in her family to graduate high school. They worked together on a project that values Aché artisan works, and were chosen by their community to spearhead an Aché artisan cooperative. During their time at the school they have become recognized leaders in the community. Through their initiative, they and other young people in the community have learned from their elders how to create traditional artisan works. They play a crucial role in conserving and valuing Aché cultural traditions, all the while creating income opportunities for their community.

You have the opportunity to support these young women continue in their academic endeavors so that they can be better positioned to support themselves and their families, and be empowered as advocates for the community and its traditions. Please consider a recurring monthly donation, or giving a donation to this project as a gift or in honor of someone. Thank you for your continued support! 

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Here come the families to celebrate!
Here come the families to celebrate!

December 17, 2011 marked a historic day for the Mbaracayu Girls School.  49 girls celebrated becoming the first ever graduating class of the school. They all received a high school degree with an emphasis in environmental sciences. All of the girls had family members in attendance to share this proud moment.

This marks a huge achievement for the girls, their families, and the community. Many of the girls came to the institution timid, and with no self-esteem or motivation for the future. Now they all know their value and are not afraid of new challenges. Against all odds, the girls have no only completed a high school education, but they have also become self-confident young women with an entrepreneurial spirit and skills that will open never imagined opportunities for them. They have paved the way for other girls in the region to become professionals, study at university, and to be valued for their intellect. The girls have new expectations of what life has to offer, far beyond being relegated to extreme poverty, early child bearing, domestic violence as a norm, or involvement in the drug trade, prostitution, or human trafficking – all too often the only options available for many girls in the region.

A big thanks to all of you who made this dream a reality. Please continue to join us on this journey by helping the girls fund their college education.

The proud graduates
The proud graduates
More proud graduates
More proud graduates
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On January 9, 2012 Palmira Mereles is off to study at Earth University in San Jose, Costa Rica on full scholarship where she will complete a 4 year university degree in Agronomic Sciences.  She had to go through a grueling selection process involving essay writing, recommendations, individual interviews, and traveling several hours to take entrance exams.

Palmira comes from a small rural community 4 hours east of the Mbaracayu Reserve, and realized that her opportunities would be limited if she stayed in the community where a poor quality high school education was awaiting her, domestic violence was the norm, and many of her adolescent  piers had children. When she spoke about what she was embarking on, Palmira expressed how grateful she was to be a part of the Mbaracayu School. She stated, “The school is part of who I am. It has a great director, the girls support each other, we have an open dialogue, I have learned about women’s rights, and have created good memories. I never imagined I would have this opportunity.  The school helped me be able to move forward.”

Congratulations to Palmira for being a shining star, seizing this opportunity, and inspiring others.

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In celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, The Mbaracayu School organized its second annual entrepreneurial forum consisting of games and activities to further cultivate skills in strategic development, communication, environmental conservation, merchandising, and sustainable projects. 150 students were able to benefit from the forum and develop new skills that advance their preparation for a lifetime of economic, social, and emotional wellbeing. The girls, their families, and the school staff have all worked hard to make this inspirational week a complete success.  

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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
$20,524 raised of $90,000 goal
 
106 donations
$69,476 to go
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