According to UNICEF, almost 23% of Paraguay’s population of 6.5 million people lives in poverty earning less than $1 per day. The gap between the small upper class and the large lower class is extreme and offers virtually no social mobility.

Conditions of poverty drive youth into early labor and a lack of literacy, in addition to a weak educational foundation, compounds the problem. Those in poverty face overcrowding, low quality housing and a lack of access to basic household services. Paraguayans who only graduate from primary school are twice as likely to live in poverty as those who have access to and complete secondary school.

Salesian missionaries have been working in Paraguay since 1896, beginning their work in the capital Asunción, near the port on the Paraguay River. There, they established a church and educational programs focusing on the arts and trades to help advance the skills and knowledge of the indigenous people.

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Provide technical & vocational training

The Carlos Pfannl Salesian Institute of Coronel Oviedo, named for its benefactor, has launched the “Poverty reduction and sustainable improvement in the living conditions of producers and technical training of young people in the Caaguazú Department” project. The project was developed in response to the International Labour Office’s report that among the most serious problems within the rural sector of Paraguay is low productivity and insufficient wages for workers.

The International Labour Office has reported that the agro-pastoral sector has the highest incidence of violations of fundamental rights of workers, high frequency of accidents, health problems at work and discrimination. Rural villages in the country remain behind in development. The Salesian Institute, which has trained thousands of youth at a national level, has always supported rural communities and the smaller farms within the villages. Today more than ever, those responsible for the Salesian Institute feel engaged in the economic development and production of the country and felt the time was right for this new training project.

The project provides young farmers with a basic education as well as advanced studies in the latest agricultural practices and modern technologies, while moving toward efficiency in farming by exploring and testing new techniques in agriculture, horticulture, floriculture and animal husbandry. The school provides both classroom education and hands-on agriculture and livestock training on a working farm on the school campus.

Salesian missionaries at the school hope the agriculture degree program will entice more local youth to choose agriculture as their long-term livelihood. With a long history of providing agricultural education, missionaries currently operate more than 90 agriculture schools around the world.

Respond to disasters & emergencies

Youth and their families living along the Paraguay River in Asunción, the capital and largest city of Paraguay, received emergency food relief in December 2015 after the region experienced the worst flooding in 50 years. Officials in the country initiated a state of emergency after the flooding caused close to 130,000 residents to flee their homes.

The emergency food relief was made possible thanks to an ongoing partnership between Salesian Missions and Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit Christian organization committed to, “feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit.” The partnership resulted in the donation of 10,000 kilograms of rice-meals to help provide food security for 40,000 displaced flood victims residing in settlements along the Paraguay River. Remaining rice-meals were distributed to Salesian programs in the region.

Provide youth centers & safe activities

Thanks to donor funding through Salesian Missions, the Don Bosco School in Minga Guazú has an improved library for students and the entire educational community. The school provides quality education to more than 1,200 students in all levels including nursery school, preschool and first through ninth grades, as well as scientific and technical education.

The school’s library facility, books, furniture and resources are outdated and inadequate for students and teachers. Students will benefit from access to the internet where information is current and more readily accessible. The library also lacks updated materials for teachers to help them in their lesson planning and education for students. The environment is less than ideal for students and teachers to come together and focus on research and studying.

The donor funding provided facilities improvements to the library including comfortable furniture and work spaces for students, as well as computers. Funding also updated books, resource materials for students and teachers, magazines and other reading materials. This includes new children’s and youth literature, which the library has not had before.

The library is an essential part of the Don Bosco School. Students will be able to access additional reading and materials to accentuate their classroom education. The space serves as a quiet place for students to study and connect with teachers who provide them extra help. Once fully updated, the library will be used to its fullest potential as a center for the entire educational community.

Salesian Missions donors have also provided the funding to renovate sports facilities at Don Bosco Roga, a Salesian home for street children located in Lambaré. The facilities were in need of renovation and repair as they were in terrible condition and children were at risk of injury. The funding supported the reconstruction of three new, safe sports courts and the acquisition of new sports equipment for soccer, basketball and volleyball.

Deliver essential equipment & supplies

The Maria Auxiliadora Parish community in Concepción has new audiovisual equipment thanks to donor funding through Salesian Missions. The goal was to have the equipment necessary for the parish to conduct workshops with partners and youth, as well as to carry out meetings focused on devotion to the Marian Catholic faith.

The equipment is very beneficial for a range of activities including talks, workshops, pastoral meetings, pre-baptismal, premarital courses and meetings with young people. This new equipment impacts up to 30 people per meeting and gives the Salesian community better access to technology to facilitate its work with the community.

Improve infrastructure

Salesian missionaries have collaborated with the Fundación Teletón (Telethon Foundation) to launch the Center for Integral Rehabilitation in the district of Minga Guazú. The center will provide services to more than 500 children and adolescents with disabilities. Fundación Teletón is a private nonprofit organization that helps children and adolescents with disabilities. Salesian missionaries in the area donated land to the organization where the new center is built.

The Center for Integral Rehabilitation is the fourth of its kind to be opened in the country. At the opening ceremony, Andrés Silva, executive director of the foundation, noted the importance of helping those in need, especially children and adolescents who have disabilities. He said that thanks to Salesian missionaries these youth can now benefit from services accessible to them. The center was made possible through the collaboration of the local citizens, the Salesian Province of Paraguay and the Itaipú Binacional company, as well as the collaboration of volunteers and the City of Minga Guazú.

The new center is located in an area that is more accessible to local families who previously would have had to travel up to seven hours to receive similar services. The new building has a room for visitors, rooms for hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, a multi-sensory room, occupational therapy, a multipurpose hall for meetings and various other facilities. The aim of the center is to develop integral services for progressive rehabilitation at a national level for people with disabilities and their families by promoting an inclusive society and coordinating the efforts of various sectors of the community through events, campaigns, programs and initiatives.

Salesian youth from the Salesian Carlos Pfannl Agricultural Institute, located in Coronel Oviedo, planted 600 trees in the city for World Environment Day which was celebrated on June 5. Youth were assisted in the project by agronomist engineers and teachers from the institute and by members of the Oventense Civil Environmental Organization.

Participating students announced that this was only the beginning of their support for the environment and invited all educational institutions, especially Salesian educational centers, to give priority to ecological projects. The event was part of the “Do not suffocate our future” campaign organized by the Don Bosco Green Alliance.

Salesian students living in the Apostolic Vicariate of el Chaco have new housing thanks to donor funding from Salesian Missions. The 2022 project provided a new apartment building for disadvantaged Indigenous college students who are studying in the capital of city of Asunción. Funding provided for the installation of a transformer, air conditioners, water heaters and a sidewalk outside of the building, as well as blacksmithing of metal bars on the front of the building and gates. It also provided for the completion of the exhibition hall on the ground floor, interior paint and the electrical installation for the building.


From Paraguay

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From Paraguay

PARAGUAY: Indigenous students have new housing thanks to donor funding

Without housing, many students are not able to continue education. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (May 9, 2023) Salesian students living in the Apostolic Vicariate of el Chaco, Paraguay, have new housing thanks to donor funding from Salesian Mi

PARAGUAY: The Maria Auxiliadora Parish community in Concepción has new audiovisual equipment thanks to Salesian Missions donor funding

The Salesian parish now has the equipment necessary to hold meetings and conduct workshops with partners and youth. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (June 23, 2020) The Maria Auxiliadora Parish community in Concepción, Paraguay, has new audiovis

PARAGUAY: Street children attending programs at Don Bosco Roga will have new sports courts and sporting equipment thanks to Salesian Missions donors

The funding will support the reconstruction of three new, safe sports courts and the acquisition of new sports equipment. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Oct. 10, 2018) Salesian Missions donors have provided the funding to renovate sports facil

Cultivating a Better Future in Paraguay

In rural communities around the world, workers seek to make a living to support their families but face many challenges including insufficient wages and low productivity. In order to begin addressing these issues on a local level,

GLOBAL: Salesian Missions Partners with Institution Recycling Network, Benefitting Programs Around the Globe

NEW ROCHELLE, NY (April 26, 2013) Salesian programs around the globe have received school and office furniture as well as workstations thanks to a new partnership between the Institution Recycling Network (IRN) and Salesian M

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Agriculture Training Programs

Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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Feed a Child

Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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Technology Program

Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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