Introducing a new life skill: planning for the future
Youth in Paraguay learn the power of creating a path to achieving their goals
By Rosanna Menchaca, communications manager, Paraguay
Coaching youth to think about their dreams for the future, and to plan and take steps to achieve them, may not seem like something that needs to be taught, but in struggling communities in Paraguay, making goals is a big deal. Youth in the South American country can often feel the future offers little choice or hope for something better.
But, that’s changing thanks to donors.
For nine months, 518 students, aged 12 to 18, worked with teachers, the principal and local partner FortaleSer to strengthen their personal, leadership and organizational skills. They began by mapping out their life plans for their personal and professional lives.
“It was weird at first,” shares 15-year-old Giana. “But, then I learned about my values, weaknesses and strengths. My life plan is to finish school, enter the military academy and buy land. I want to marry and have two children.”
“My life plan is to complete school, study law and work in the judiciary,” adds Wilfrido, Giana’s classmate. “My personal goal is to help my parents and siblings so they can also study and have a profession.”
“We learned to seek and find solutions to our problems working with the principal and teachers.” — Jonatan, 16
The next step in the project was to help youth turn their plans into action. Student representatives were elected in each grade, and activities were organized in different areas of focus, such as health and education.
“We learned to seek and find solutions to our problems working with the principal and teachers,” says Jonatan, 16, another student involved in the planning process. “One of the things we did was help classmates with low grades raise them.”
Parents, like Estela, mother of two children in the program, are just as excited as the students are about the results. “It’s nice to hear youth say ‘I want to study’ or ‘I want [to achieve] this or that.’ It gives hope,” she says.
With continued support, who knows what these ambitious youth might achieve.
Christian Children’s Fund of Canada:
Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) is a child-centred international development organization and a member of ChildFund Alliance. For more than 55 years, CCFC has worked with children, communities, donors and other partners — changing lives through improved health, education and clean water. CCFC works in 12 countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas, to support more than 700,000 children, youth and community members.