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Alleviating children from poverty in Paraguay

The Lotex Foundations, Vaduz (Liechtenstein) and Habitat for Humanity have joined forces to alleviate poverty and improve the quality of life for 45 children from the Virgen del Carmen community in Paraguay.

Paraguay is the third poorest country in South America, more than 35 percent of its population lives in poverty and 20 percent in extreme poverty. Annually, 15,000 families require housing subsidies. The government covers only half of it. The housing deficit is estimates at 800,000 or more units.

Families in Virgen del Carmen live from sugar cane harvesting and fishing. These are seasonal jobs and in the winter months mothers and fathers move to the capital in search of income. Their children stay behind with extended family members, such as uncles, grandmothers or other relatives.

Often, these families live in substandard conditions and have poor knowledge of hygiene and sanitation. They lack skills to manage their limited finances and do not know much about their rights to own the land. This means these families constantly risk their health and the health of their children, and have no chance to improve their lives.

Better living
Crispin Ferreira works as a fisherman, Victorina stays at home with their six children. Their old house, which was just a shack made of wood, plastic and iron, accommodated eight people in one room. Thanks to the initiative of Habitat for Humanity and the Lotex Foundations, Crispin and Victorina could change it for a comfortable and strong brick house. Now they have walls, proper floors, glass windows and a roof.

With the support from the Lotex Foundations, Habitat for Humanity provides support to the families like Crispin and Victoria. Materials and construction assistance can substantially improve the living conditions of the families. Adequate housing means children have a place to study, their home is healthier, and therefore the children are less likely to get sick and miss school.

The project also improves sanitation facilities, combined with hygiene trainings. This ensures that the families understand the link between good hygiene habits and their health. Additional financial management workshops help families to learn how to manage their finances and plan small budgets.

If needed, the project can assist families in getting all the important paperwork for their land. Habitat for Humanity also works with local authorities to reduce bureaucracy involved in the process of obtaining land tenure. When families have all the legal right to the land, it ensures that they are not evicted and next generations can keep their homes. In addition, land ownership can be used as collateral for additional agricultural investments to improve income – further increasing their chances of a better future and improved life for them and their children.