"[Through Diaconia] over the course of one year, four different lives could be impacted through one donation."
Twenty-six percent of people in Paraguay live in poverty. To add to the desperate situation that many of these individuals face each day, the 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.
What is Diaconia?
To face the harsh reality of poverty, as well as work at developing long-term solutions for the families and communities in Paraguay, Diaconia ADP (Global Aid Network's in-country partner) 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 work their way out of physical, mental and spiritual poverty.
With strong alignment in Diaconia's vision, Global Aid Network (GAiN) and its donors decided to partner with this organization.
As of December 2017, we have been a part of helping Diaconia provide:
- micro-loans to over 3,203 impoverished women
- vocational training to 916 women through 28 different courses developed throughout the year
- regular spiritual care for 1,275 women who meet with a local chaplain
Those that indicate interest and have been vetted are then connected to a local church and placed into a group with other women who are doing the same thing. Rooted in biblical principles and values, these women 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 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 partner with Global Aid Network and Diaconia ADP, you become directly involved in a real, long-term strategy to impact the lives of several impoverished women.
The greatest advantage of the program is that one donation can impact multiple women over time. When a woman pays off a loan, it goes on to be loaned to the next woman for the next loan cycle (a 12 week cycle).
"Over the course of one year, four different lives could be impacted through one donation," explains Monique Lieuwen, GAiN Project Manager for Relief & Development. "Diaconia is great, it works. People's lives are being changed."
You can invest in the lives of women in Paraguay by providing:
- $25 Financial training and micro-loan (for one woman for one month)
- $100 Training and materials (for four chaplains for one month)
- $150 Vocational training (for 20 women for one month)
- $250 Financial training and micro-loans (for 10 women for one month)
- Any other amount.
Will you partner with us and help transform a woman’s life, both physically and spiritually?