Stories from change-makers in Paraguay

Lilian Florencia Yamila
Girl In Paraguay
As COVID-19 closes schools all around the world, Lilian worries she will be left behind.
Adolescent girls are most at risk for permanently dropping out of school.

“I don’t have my own cell phone, and I need to use one to access the online learning platforms,” Lillian says. “I don’t have a good internet signal in my community, and I also have financial problems so my family can barely recharge my credit … What I miss most is going to school and sharing with my friends. I think that girls are more overburdened with domestic chores at home because of the typical opinion that housework is girls’ or women’s work.”

Traditional stereotypes and harmful social norms are why marginalized girls are more at risk than boys of dropping out of school altogether. To help girls like Lilian, Plan International has created the “Let’s learn with Kiara!” booklet. In addition to providing simple information about COVID-19, including ways to prevent spreading the disease, the booklet also offers advice on the distribution of household chores between boys and girls and how to identify and report violence during the quarantine.

“What worries me most is that the economy will decline, that the unemployed will not get more work, that poor families, that is, the most vulnerable, will not get help from the government,” explains Lilian. Still, she remains hopeful. “My message to all girls is to have faith and hope, and above all, the strength to overcome all this. This will soon pass, and we will be together again as we always were.”
Help girls like Lilian stay in school
Girl in Paraguay Ask For Protection
Florencia lives with her grandparents who produce and sell fabric flowers for events.
Without any sales because of COVID-19, the family has had to diversify; now they make face masks and sell medical plants they grow in the garden.

“What worries me most is the unemployment during this pandemic,” Florencia says. “The economy is going down, more than it had already done, many people no longer have a job or food to give to their children.”

As well as impacting the economy, the strict lockdown measures have led to an increase in reports of violence against women and girls. “I am concerned when I see the statistics that cases of violence have increased a lot,” she explains. “I ask the authorities to take care of girls, because they are more vulnerable.”

To respond to the urgent need for assistance, Plan has delivered thousands of food and hygiene kits to families. In total, Plan aims to reach 130,000 people through emergency response efforts in Paraguay, through the delivery of food kits, hygiene kits for girls and women, play kits for children, and disinfection kits. We’re also strengthening municipal councils for the rights of children and adolescents, community protection networks and supporting young entrepreneurs back into employment.
Read more about how we protect girls
Girl In Paraguay Plan Program
Yamila is one of 8,000 young people benefiting from the Sape’a project, which was developed to improve the social and economic situation of adolescents and young people from rural communities in Paraguay.
Sape’a — which means “open your eyes” in the indigenous Guarani language — is the result of an agreement between Plan International and the Ministry of Labor in Paraguay. As part of the program, co-financed by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECID), Yamila learned how to design a business plan and develop the necessary life skills needed to sustain a business.

After identifying a gap in her community, Yamila implemented her newfound entrepreneurial skills. “In my community, there were no clothing stores, but lots of demand. I saw that there was an opportunity to start my own clothing business.”

A member of the Youth Advisory Council, Yamila is making her voice heard at the local and national level. She credits the principles she learned at Sape’a with helping her advocacy work. “I learned how to behave properly in the workplace, including values like responsibility, kindness, respect and above all, punctuality.”

Yamila encourages all her friends to take part in programs like this, advising them to take advantage of all the opportunities that come their way. “Thanks to all the values I learned, I am now succeeding with my business.”
Meet more young people advocating for change

Plan International has been working to improve children’s lives in Paraguay since 1994.

Our work in Paraguay

Sponsored Girl In Paraguay
Office & operations

Plan Paraguay’s country office is located in Asuncion, with program unit offices in Paraguari, Caaguazu Guaira and San Pedro.

Technical areas:

Plan focuses on the following program areas: health, skills and word, health, protection

Number of sponsored children

As of June 30, 2022, people like you sponsor 21,120 children in Paraguay through Plan International.

Why sponsor with Plan?

Gender equality is a fight we must all take on together. Through sponsorship, you can change lives and create long-term impact in communities.

The full circle of Fate

When you sponsor a child through Plan, you form an incredible friendship.

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But that’s just the beginning. With Plan, you also have the unique opportunity to:

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Send them birthday gifts and cards.

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Give them special holiday presents called Little Treasures.

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Subscribe them to Plan’s educational kids’ magazine, Sunny Days.

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Arrange a visit (pending any travel restrictions), with individual travel assistance from us.

Each gift offering is safely hand-delivered by us, and given to your child with personalized cards from you. It’s likely that the child you sponsor will have never seen anything like these gifts, and with the exception of Little Treasures they’re available year-round to make the bond between you and your sponsored child even stronger.

Meet a child to sponsor