In the country of Paraguay, 35% of the population live in poverty; 19.4% of which suffer from extreme poverty.
To add to the desperate situation that many of these individuals face each day, majority of them turn to loan sharks who could easily charge up to 500% in interest.
Now people not only struggle to find their next meal, but they also live in fear because of the threat of either being physically beaten or losing their home if their payments are not made.
This is where the need for holistic development is essential.
Within the context of poverty in Paraguay, it is not possible to announce the good news of God’s love without also promoting peace, justice and solidarity in words and actions. Instead, demonstrating God’s love for all those who are wounded with the pain and human misery caused by poverty, marginalization and social exclusion, which has damaged the dignity of so many human beings, becomes critical.
To face this reality as well as work at developing long-term solutions for the families and communities in Paraguay, Diaconia ADP was founded.
Diaconia represents concrete actions used to teach the poor how to live a life with self-respect. Knowing that each and every child, youth, and adult who are currently living in poverty can live to discover the dignity and complete freedom that God gives.
The organization initiated its operations in 2010 with the vision of reaching 4,000 families who live in over 300 squatter zones across Paraguay.
By providing training programs and microcredit to the poor, Diaconia is now helping hundreds of woman to work their way out of physical, mental and spiritual poverty.
With a strong alignment in Diaconia’s vision, Global Aid Network (GAiN) and its donors decided to partner with this organization.
Today, there are 1,700 women involved and many are in the second and third loan cycles. We have agreed to provide funding for the loans for 307 of those women.
The women first hear about Diaconia through one of the 560 nutrition centers, which are also in partnership with us.
Those that indicate interest and have been vetted are then connected to a local church and placed into a group with other woman who are doing the same thing. Rooted in biblical principles and values, these woman experience a new kind of hope through these groups.
As the group meets, Diaconia provides three key tools that bring develop them:
- Financing - provides predominantly women with funding and training they need to start or grow their small businesses, prioritizing on the communities who live in the poorest regions of Paraguay.
- Vocational training - provides hands-on training so that the poor can learn a skill such as bakery, basic mechanics, seamstress, hairdressing, and others.
- Project for the Development of Paraguay (PRODEI) - provides training in financial literacy, community development and Christian values. PRODEI also addresses topics such as how to manage money, assertive communication, civic values, and the value of faith-based principles.
For the first time, these 307 women feel valued. They recognize that people are investing in them. They see that the church desires to see each woman climb out of poverty and become independent.
“I am working now, selling cleaning products. Diaconia has helped me by giving me a credit so that I could buy the products that I sell. I am very happy to know them, and to be able to work in my own business.” - Alicia Alvarenga
Pelagia Delvalle received a microcredit to start her business selling milk products. After four months she has been able to completely repay her loan and has even started to put money into a savings plan.
When you become part of Diaconia ADP, you become directly involved in a real, long-term strategy to impact the lives of several impoverished women.
For an investment of only $281 per loan cycle (which is three months), you can help start a woman on a road to financial self-sufficiency by giving her an opportunity to provide for her basic needs and to live a life free from financial slavery.
On average it takes four loan cycles for one woman to become financially independent, resulting in an investment of only $1,124.00.
Will you partner with us and help transform a woman’s life, both physically and spiritually?