A YEAR IN
• Improving the quality of education and the school environment, and improving children’s health
• Over half of people in rural areas do not have sanitation facilities a eir and almost half do notJuhave ad rua clean drinking water
• Helping families to increase their food production so they have better nutrition
• Promotingancare uel for the environment, providing water and sanitation, and helping communities to prepare for natural disasters
• Supporting families to become financially secure and able to cope in emergencies and periods of economic crisis
ua Ar a iab Cu
Country Office Program Units
poverty and approximately one million are unemployed. Paraguay has a market economy marked by a large informal sector that features both re-export of imported consumer goods to neighbouring countries, and thousands of small business enterprises. Paraguay’s largest economic activity is based on agriculture, agribusiness and cattle ranching.
Guaraní (official) Climate: The local climate ranges from subtropical to temperate, with substantial rainfall in the eastern portions, though becoming semi-arid in the far west. Economy: Paraguay is a developing country and the second poorest country in South America. Over a third of the population live in
Capital: Asunción Population: 6.9 million Languages: Spanish and
‘I payuamy daughter’s i Taq r school costs, as I am ParanIaiba a single mother and want to invest in her’
Communities planted trees in Peña Guazú to replace trees used as stove fuel
iri in development • Getting children involved and supporting local community organisations
• One in seven children suffers from stunted growth due to poor nutrition us
• A fifth of children do not attend secondary school
why Plan works in Paraguay
A women tends to a crop shared with other members of a women’s economic cooperative
3 um ayo
ia ain Gu
qu iar e
oni Ca r
Esse quib o
food and nutritional security Plan helps families to increase their food production and improve their children’s nutrition. We help families and schools set up gardens, growing nutritious food for themselves and also increasing the amount of food they produce so they have crops to sell. Increasing incomes is another key way
to improve long-term access to nutritious food, so we help families and young people to set up their own small agricultural businesses.
Children and young people are now more involved with their curriculum and have a say at their schools
A Hive of Activity
The Bigger Picture
Celina is one of eight young people who have successfully set up a honey production business with Plan’s support. The business is improving their incomes, bolstering their long-term futures and showing other young people that economic opportunities can be found locally.
• Improved teaching skills by training 3376 teachers and teaching volunteers in 454 communities, and built or repaired 139 schools
‘It’s nice to work as a group; we have fun as well as work,’ says Celina.
The group are from a community 140 kilometres north-east of Asunción, in the rural San Pedro district. They came up with the idea of reviving a honey collection centre in their village that had been abandoned for the past two years, then presented a proposal for a beekeeping project to Plan. With Plan’s encouragement, the group then approached the Tajy Poty Committee, which is made up of small local producers dedicated to honey production. They explained that they wanted to get involved. Once they had joined the Committee, the group were trained in the art of beekeeping and started producing honey. A new lease of life The group’s efforts have boosted the local honey processing factory, which can process up to five tonnes of honey each year. Their involvement has also reinvigorated the community, getting more small producers involved in honey production, and increasing the community’s productivity. Twenty-year-old Jorge is a beekeeping technician from a nearby community. He brings valuable experience to the Tajy Poty Committee and is enthusiastic about his work: ‘We do many things we enjoy, such as collecting honey and controlling the bees, making sure they have a good population, and changing the queen bee when needed. Here, most people like working with bees.’ ‘About 25 to 30 kilos of honey can be collected in each hive each year,’ says Jorge. The honey is good quality, and processed to a high standard. Most of the honey the group produces is sold locally, but they have also arranged for a small business in the Mercado de Abasto in Asunción to sell their honey, a major achievement. Getting more people involved
Produced for Paraguay by Plan International Australia.
The group are excited about the possibilities for their project, and want to expand and get other young people involved. ‘Our committee already has 120 hives and we expect to get about 200 or 250 hives next year, either from our group or by involving more members,’ says one other member proudly. Most young people in this area believe they have to leave their communities and go to Asunción to get an education and have a better quality of life. This group is a positive influence: they are showing that young people can successfully set up their own businesses and that it’s possible to stay near home and still make a living. Looking to the future ‘I can afford my computer course.’ ‘I invest the money I earn to buy more hives.’ ‘I invest the money in my studies.’ ‘I pay my daughter’s school costs, as I am a single mother and I want to invest in her.’ These are just some of the ways that the group is using the money they are earning. Each has their own priorities, but all are using the money to help support themselves and their families. Now they all have a more positive future to look forward to and their group’s achievements show how, with Plan’s help, people can make real changes in their lives. Some names have been changed for child protection and privacy reasons
‘About 25 to 30 kilos of honey can be collected in each hive each year’
Plan is working with children, families and communities to find sustainable solutions to the challenges in Paraguay. We have only given you a small insight into Plan’s work in Paraguay with this report but over the past year we also:
• Supplied clean drinking water to 24 communities, and improved sanitation by building 73 latrines • Supported communities to prevent abuse and care for mistreated and sexually abused children in 13 districts • With Plan’s support, 40 community banks are providing 690 women with low incomes with loans and savings facilities, helping them meet their children’s needs Your support as a sponsor is crucial to achieving these results. With the resources provided by sponsors, Plan expertise and the collaboration of communities and local partners we are making a big difference to the lives of people in Paraguay. Thank you for your involvement! To learn more about Plan’s work in Paraguay visit plan.org.au/ourwork/ southernamerica/paraguay
‘The global financial crisis has encouraged us to develop new partnerships with the government and other institutions, strengthening Plan’s profile as an organisation that promotes and protects the rights of children and young people’ – Ernesto Morán, Plan’s Country Director in Paraguay
Published on May 31, 2010