SOS Children in Paraguay

Sponsorship sites in Paraguay

Paraguay is in the centre of South America. With no significant mineral or natural resources, the economy is largely agricultural. The economic problems in neighbouring Argentina have also affected Panama and over 60 per cent of the population live below the poverty line. According to UNICEF, more than 30 per cent of children fail to finish elementary schooling, often because they do not have an adequate command of Spanish, which is the language of tuition.

In the streets of the capital, Asunción, an estimated 30,000 children work as shoe-blacks or newspaper vendors, often to supplement the family income. Most of them are completely neglected and suffer from malnutrition, parasites and anaemia.

The charity began working in Paraguay in 1970. Today there are six communities, one of which is specifically for handicapped children, as well as numerous supplementary social welfare and medical facilities which also benefit the wider community.

SOS Children's Hohenau community, the first the charity built in Paraguay, is 400 km from Asunción in an area of virgin forest gradually being cleared by settlers. It is home to over 180 children in its sixteen family houses and one youth house, and there is a farm catering for the village's needs and providing vocational training opportunities. Because of the lack of medical facilities in the area, an SOS medical centre was established in 1978 which provides basic medical care and maternity services for the local population.

SOS Children Asunción was built in 1982 and now has sixteen family houses and two youth houses which are home to over 160 children and young people. In response to local needs, there is a kindergarten and a school providing primary and secondary education. An SOS vocational training centre teaches hairdressing skills. Social welfare facilities include a daycare centre and a community outreach programme supporting local families through various projects, including a soya milk production scheme.

The charity opened its third community in Paraguay in 1989. SOS Children San Ignacio is 225 km from Asunción in a poor rural area that has suffered extensively from disastrous droughts. It has ten family houses and two youth houses. There is also a kindergarten which is open to children from the neighbourhood. After kindergarten, the SOS children attend the local schools. The SOS Mother & Child Clinic at San Ignacio provides valuable medical care and maternity services for the local population in an area where health services are virtually non-existent, handling over 25,000 patients a year.

Close to San Ignacio is SOS Children's Panambi community for children with special needs, where there are eight family houses for up to 60 handicapped children who come from all over Paraguay, particularly the rural areas. As it is so close to San Ignacio, the children can be integrated and medical care is also available. Rehabilitation rooms, workshops, a kindergarten and school and a swimming pool ensure that the children at Panambi are cared for according to their special needs and that their development is furthered in every possible way. An SOS School of Nursing is also part of the project at Panambi.

In 1997 the charity opened its fifth location opened in a residential working class area in the town of Luque, about 10 km from Asunción. SOS Children's Luque community has twelve family houses, a kindergarten and a school providing primary and secondary level education for the local community. An SOS vocational training centre, established in 2000, provides courses in IT, English, accounting, hairdressing, massage techniques and cooking for over 300 students.

SOS Children's Belén community opened in 2002. It has twelve family houses which are home to 110 children. Other facilities are an agricultural vocational training centre and a medical centre providing maternity services and treatment for around 25,000 mothers and children a year.

Local Contacts

SOS Children in Paraguay:
SOS Aldeas de Niños Paraguay,
Cerro Cora No 1155 c,
Tel: +595/21/227 345
Fax: +595/21/227 345

Paraguay Child Sponsorship

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