Young, poor nation makes for difficult schooling

By October 11, 2011

Paraguay (MNN) — The children of Paraguay have faced more than their fair share of troubles. Families make an average of under $2 per day. People under the age of 25 make up 65% of the population.

With low income and high numbers of children, not many can even afford to go to school. A lot of kids spend the day on the streets while their parents are at work.

After years of dictatorship, people have a hard time thinking for themselves. It has hardly been two decades since Paraguay has been free from a dictator, and the nation is still learning to make its own decisions.

Add to this the threat of terrorism–al Qaeda has a known base in the nation–and you have the perfect recipe for creating uneducated, hungry, desperate men and women.

Ten years ago, The Mission Society decided to do something about this. The New Horizon Methodist School is providing a way for these otherwise helpless children to gain an education and a future.

"The first year, we had four-year-olds, which is our pre-kinder, and then a kindergarten, which are five-year-olds," says Liz Boggess, who's been working at the school for a number of years. "Each year since then, we have added grades. We now have through the tenth grade–kindergarten through the tenth grade. We have approximately 853 students."

Building projects are already underway to have an eleventh grade added by February. The first graduating class will be in 2013.

The New Horizons School teaches several hundred kids all subjects, plus Spanish and English. More than that, "The children are being taught God's Word. They're being taught God's principles," notes Boggess. A church is being built right across the street.

Kids are sponsored to go to the school. As kids are supported, their parents are required to be involved with the school as well. This can be crucial for the parents, since the school also provides job training for adults.

A full-time minister and counselor are on staff to help students and parents alike.

Many are waiting to get into the school, and that's where you come in. You can sponsor students to get an education, knowing that their parents will also get training, and all will receive the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.

To learn more about this school project, visit Support the school directly at The Mission Society Web site. 

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