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Bidding farewell to communities in Paraguay

Plan International started working in Paraguay in 1994. Since then, we’ve worked with girls, boys and their families in the departments of Paraguarí, Caaguazú, San Pedro, and Guairá. To date, more than 24,000 children have been part of our sponsorship programmes in the country, and through those efforts, we have assisted about 120,000 people in 471 communities.

Key focusses of our work include education, child protection, participation, birth registration and healthcare. The “Active School” programme has helped girls and boys to learn through play and participation while Learn Without Fear was a campaign to end violence in schools. Plan International has also been working with young people to strengthen youth leadership.

We’ve built strong bonds and partnerships in these places, but we’ve always known that it’s not our role to stay indefinitely. Our work is simply to give a helping hand in times of need, while the communities themselves are the drivers of their destiny. 

After 18 years in these parts, the time has come for Plan International to bow out of 100 villages across Paraguarí and Guairá as we phase out some of our operations in this area, saying goodbye to more than 5,500 former sponsored children and their families and friends. These communities, home to sizable indigenous populations, are standing firmly on their own two feet and are seizing the day as they strive to realise their rights and reach their goals. We’ll miss them, but we know they’ll do just fine on their own.

Plan International Paraguay will continue to work in 370 communities around the country, including 38 in Paraguarí and 56 in Guairá with a focus on reaching the most marginalised and excluded. 

Children in Paraguarí take part in activities to celebrate Plan International’s phasing out activities.

Orlando, 9

Orlando is about to start his studies in the fifth grade in the Cerro Karapé community school. He, too, is bittersweet about Plan International leaving his community, but he's happy with how everything has worked out.

"What I like most about my community is that everyone can be all together."

Romina, 15

Romina lives with her family in the Capilla Tuya community.

“In our school and community we play, we have fun, but we also talk about important things. We try to do things right, and to live together without any fights.”

Romina says she’s happy and sad that Plan International is leaving her community.

“Plan Intetnational’s work brought a lot of benefits to our school and community. We are sad because you are leaving and we hope you can visit our school again. But we are happy that you will help another school, in another community that needs it,” she adds.

We are happy that you will help another school, in another community that needs it,

“We want other children in another school to learn what we learn. We are also happy because Plan left behind a lot of things. I have learnt to take care of our environment so it does not get dirty and to stand up and say “no” when people throw trash in the streets or their yards,” she says.

“We try to do things well, coexisting with everyone to play and to not have any fights.”

Together, they will achieve so much.

Cesar

 

César has been a community volunteer for 10 years now in the Cerro Karapé community where Plan International has helped build modern bathrooms and installed potable water systems.

“Here in the community we have about 60 families that have drinking water thanks to Plan International. We have two classrooms in this school now,” he says.

“I am proud of my community. I have worked for ten years on this and we have suffered from the heat, cold, rain, but it was all worth it to see the children in school, and drinking clean water, which they did not have before,” he adds.

“I see that here in the community the kids are more open now compared to how they were before.”

Irma

Irma has four children. She and her family have been part of various Plan International projects in the Cerro Karapé community. 

Among the projects Irma aw the most benefits from for the community was the creation of soccer teams for kids.

“I feel very good as a mother now. I am very happy for all that we have achieved together to support the community. Now we have drinking water, furniture and everything.”

Time to celebrate the start of a new era.