Last weekend Carlo and I went to the Escuela Agrícola de San Francisco in Cerrito to act as ‘trainers’ for the World Cup between that school and the girls’ Agricultural School in Mbaracayu. The event was an attempt to bring the students from all around the country together to play soccer, attend intercultural activities and generally get to know each other.
The day started by splitting the students into 16 teams representing countries from all around the world. In their groups, the students had to present the information they gathered on their country during one of their IT classes. The day continued with soccer games between the different countries. After lunch, the students had two hours of cultural activities: Arabic dancing and writing, French and Italian classes (taught by another intern, Carlo and I), drawing, and the history of the World Cup.
More soccer and a final victory for Afghanistan (against the USA) brought the interns to the field against some of the students. Having ten very diverse young interns leading the activities appeared to be very beneficial to the students. They were enthusiastic about learning about different cultures, engaging with us and the students from the other school all day.
The World Cup was one of the many activities that Fundación Paraguaya has given interns the opportunity to organize, encouraging diversity and integration among the Agricultural Schools’ students. The attempt to transcend poverty by promoting a wide variety of educative programmes is a quality that distinguishes Fundación Paraguaya from other microfinance institutions. As outlined by the novel Ikatu project, restricted financial resources is only one of the facets of poverty. Accounting for this, the Fundación is targeting the young in education programmes that will inspire them to pull themselves out of poverty. In Paraguay, soccer is a good way to start!