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Introducing a new life skill: planning for the future

POSTED May 11, 2017

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

Girl Drawing

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.

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Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60+ years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.

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