Help Poor Rural Girls in Paraguay go to University

by Fundacion Paraguaya
Vetted
1st Alumni Meeting!
1st Alumni Meeting!

On the 19th and 20th of July, the first ever Maracayú Educational Center alumni reunion was organized at the Mbaracayú reservation forest. The event was full of excitement and commemoration. The main purpose for the gathering was to install a space where recent graduates can exchange their life experiences, as well as to improve our alumni data base. In this way, we hope to maintain the alumni contact and to better track their progress after their time at the Center. It is also a step closer to our commitment to build a stronger alumni network and to take concrete actions towards the integral development of our students. A total of 17 recent graduates took part in the event and helped organizing a working team for the consolidation of the Mbaracayú Educational Center Alumni Association (EXACEM in Spanish). The young girls not only showed their interest and commitment to this new initiative but they also remembered their old times at the Center with great deal of emotions at a culminating bonfire.

Today, many our alumni are young university scholar girls receiving support from our kind donors in Global Giving, continuing their education and sharing their hopes and dreams toward their potential future.   

Bonfire!
Bonfire!
Alumni Meeting
Alumni Meeting

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Meet Dalila!
Meet Dalila!

Dalila is young and enthusiastic, and like many other students at the Mbajacayú Educational Center she has the dream to be the first member of her family to attend the university... “My dream is to become a psychologist in order to help other young people like me overcome challenges like I have; I will be the first in my entire family”. We would like to thank our donors for helping students like Dalila unfold their dreams and become true leaders of positive change in their communities.

Dalila realized upon arriving to CEM that her dream could come true only through two secrets: persistence and dedication. In her first year of study living in the Mbaracayú Forest Reserve, Dalila already stood out and was selected as the only member of her class to participate in the Paraguay Entrepreneurs Forum (FEP), a 3-day event organized by Fundación Paraguaya that gathers youth from all over the country to discuss entrepreneurship, career opportunities, and share experiences.

Dalila proudly narrates how this experience to represent her school helped her understand that if she works hard in school, she will be recognized and given the chance to succeed. About her experience at the Mbaracayú Educational Center, she mentioned “I really enjoy all the activities that we do in the school because working in the field allows us to learn real skills and share what we learn with all the visitors that come to the Reserve. My favorite activities are to work at the hotel, and to help out in the kitchen, I love interacting with the guests!”

Please keep on supporting us and help us create the conditions girls like Dalila need to tap their potentials and to become self-confident rural entrepreneurs…

Dalila & classmates, they share the same dream!
Dalila & classmates, they share the same dream!
Dalila, classmates & teachers of CEM!
Dalila, classmates & teachers of CEM!

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Welcome to new students!
Welcome to new students!

March 3, 2014 was not an ordinary day in the Mbaracayú Forest Reserve. For the 50 girls who arrived with their families for the first time, it was rather the beginning of a new dream as they were welcomed as the first year class of the Mbaracayú Educational Center for 2014. The new students will live in the school for the next three years, where they will take part in classroom lessons as well as practical activities in the field which vary from working at the vegetable garden, welcoming and serving guests at the rural hotel located in the Reserve, organizing tour visits, working at the chicken coop, etc. The wide variety of activities performed as part of the school curriculum allows the girls to learn significant soft and hard skills needed to find decent employment and qualify for advanced education.

As the new group of girls was welcomed to the school by their peers from second and third year, they performed several ice-breakers and integration activities with the objective of creating a family environment for the girls to feel supported and loved as they enter their new home.

The families accompanied the girls throughout the day celebrating this new opportunity with the confidence that they will be prepared as future leaders of their communities. These girls receive all the personal affects and school supplies they need to be successful and make the best out of their education.

In the next three years, these young women will be ready to follow even greater career paths, as they will qualify for pursuing university degrees, a dream most of their families would not even dare to consider.

Please help them and their peers continue on the path of higher education by making it possible for them to achieve a seemingly impossible dream---to complete high school and attend the university.

ice-breaking activities
ice-breaking activities

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This year, the Mbaracayú Educational Center graduated 35 students who received a high school diploma with emphasis in Environmental Sciences. These young rural entrepreneurs are fully equipped to and empowered to embark in new adventures such as the development of a new business, the start of a new decent job, and/or the possibility of furthering their knowledge and continue their studies in the university.

As an end of the year activity, right before graduation, the girls participated in an Entrepreneurship Forum where they were able to evaluate what they have learned in the school, and to share with the younger girls the knowledge and experience they acquired in relation to entrepreneurship and leadership skills such as the development of a personal budget or a business plan, the importance of setting clear life goals, and making personal projections.

Among these girls, Adriana from the department of San Pedro, a very poor and most conflict-ridden area of Paraguay, shared her dream of pursing university studies in hotel and management. She will be a senior next year, and the opportunity to work at the hotel run by the students at the Mbaracayú Educational Center has helped her discover a career path that she had not pictured before.

Another student comes from Asunción, she heard about CEM through an aunt. Maria shared with us that she was not confident about leaving the capital city at the beginning. However, as she is finishing up her second year of school, she is convinced that she made the right choice because she has made many new friends, and is now looking forward to the opportunity of going to the National University of Asunción and studying Environmental Science Engineering

At the end of the entrepreneurship forum, the third-year or senior class presented the “Business Plans” they are required to develop as part of the school curriculum. These business ideas included the opening of a bakery, and a cookies´ business named “Engatú” which in Aché, an indigenous language, means “very sweet”. These are some examples of the activities our students will be involved in next year and upon graduation. These are the young students that we are empowering with the support of our Global Giving friends! 

ice-breaker activity to start the forum!
ice-breaker activity to start the forum!
Get ready for Business Plan Presentations!
Get ready for Business Plan Presentations!
CEM entrepreneurs!
CEM entrepreneurs!

Links:

Eulalia and students, proudly sharing their work
Eulalia and students, proudly sharing their work

Following up from our previous report, we would like to share with our wonderful donors more about Eulalia Piragui´s experience as she continues to pursue a teaching degree in a local institute in Villa Ygatimí, in the department of Canindeyú. Because a picture is worth a thousand words, we want to show the joy of Eulalia proudly sharing the amazing job she does with her students.

Eulalia is particularly proud and happy of the opportunity of being able to practice what she is learning in school already, as she currently has a position as a pre-school teacher in an indigenous community near the Mbaracayú Reserve where she teaches children ages 4 to 6 in the morning, and goes to the university at night.

This is nothing new for Eulalia who graduated from the Mbaracayú Educational Center in 2011, where, for 3 years, she studied and developed practical hands-on experience while “learning by doing” and working in the different school enterprises the school has developed.

With your support for graduates from the Mbaracayú School, especially for indigenous female students like Eulalia, we are empowering young girls and equipping them with a life-long entrepreneurial spirit to overcome poverty.

Class time
Class time
Eulalia and one of her students
Eulalia and one of her students

Links:

 

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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, NA Paraguay

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