The 2012 winner – Fundación Paraguaya
2012 Prize winner: Schools set up by Fundación Paraguaya give high school students in rural communities the entrepreneurial and practical skills they need to lift themselves out of poverty.
In 2012, we awarded the prize to Fundación Paraguaya – a not-for-profit organisation in Paraguay – for its self-sufficient agricultural school model.
Fundación Paraguaya’s schools, which are located in poor rural areas of Paraguay, give students a platform to develop the entrepreneurial and practical skills they need to lift themselves out of poverty. The organisation works with each school to identify the most suitable micro-businesses to set up. These can be anything from milk production, farming and organic gardening, to hotel services, beekeeping or egg production. The schools provide students with hands-on training. At the same time, money generated from the enterprises enables the schools to be self-sufficient and cover their operating costs – such as salaries, administration and school maintenance – without the need for government funding.
Around 450 students are currently enrolled in schools that have been set up as part of the programme, and the initiative has already reached more than 700 students in Paraguay. The Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize is helping to scale up the project further, with CHF 300 000 being used to set up a new school in the Paraguayan city of San Pedro, one of the poorest areas of Paraguay. The school, which opened in August 2013, is the fourth to be set up by Fundación Paraguaya. It already has six full-time teachers and 50 students, ranging in age from 18 to 24. The students are taking part in a four-semester, two-year diploma to become a Promoter in rural agriculture. The course covers a wide range of topics, including planning and management, sustainable agriculture and animal production.