News from Paraguay
“I will praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness” (Psalm 137 (138)
The words of this psalm express our gratitude for the fruitful year the Lord granted to our schools: “Virgen de Caacupé” in Cerrito, and “San Roque Gonzalez” in Villa del Sur - Fernando de la Mora, two poverty-stricken villages in Paraguay.
We are grateful because with the grace of God we have been able to carry out various projects which contributed immensely to the growth of our pupils and their families. In fact we were able to develope a child-centred programme, which offers a whole formation, according to the educational style which is part of Jeanne Antide’s heritage.
Our education-formation takes into account all aspects able to favour children’s maturity through writing, reading, maths, computers skills, foreign language, physical education, and music. All subjects aim to enable children to express their potential in the best possible way.
This formation is offered from the nursery to the 6th year because our schools cover the levels up to the third one of our school system, therefore, our pupils have to attend other schools from the fourth level onward.
It would be a dream to have more levels, yet the economy of the Country and the poverty of our villages make it impossible. Families do not have enough resources and the two schools are situated in so called “red areas”, due to the dangers present there (drugs, HIV, prostitution, domestic violence, child abuse, broken families and unemployment, etc.)
This situation is quite common among the families living in the villages. The government cannot assure any safety, that’s why we are networking with various Institutions present in the villages, which take care of social needs.
For the first time this year we realized an “Open day”, which involved everybody, teachers, pupils, parents and plenty of families. They presented the developmental projects realized by the two schools thanks to the support of the Thouret Foundation.
The event took place at the gym of the Parish dedicated to Saint Catherine of Siena.
The way each child was able to express their abilities and use all their potential through dances, songs, and speeches and many other performances was absolutely amazing! That was the best evidence of the results achieved through the educational process realized during the scholastic year.
The gym was filled up by families, but among them there were also the supervisors of our scholastic projects.
It was a great joy to see how endearing and original the performances were, and how the long journey made by the children was evident.
Such success encourages us to go ahead with enthusiasm, in spite of the difficulties of working with children who live in high risk situations. This little ones lack many things and schools are becoming more and more safe places to turn to.
Thanks to the Thouret Foundation we can continue the service Saint Jeanne Antide began and left for us as a precious heritage.
“Teaching the poor to know, love and serve the Lord is to do in part what the Saviour of the world came to do on earth”. (Jeanne Antide, Preliminary Discourse LD p. 11)
Dear Friends, on behalf of all those who share with me the work of the Educational Community of the “Nemesia Valle Association”, I wish to thank all of you for your constant and tangible solidarity, we are confident that you will continue to support us in our mission of spreading love among the poorest as the Word of God teaches us:
“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Mt. 25:40)