Fundacion Paraguaya's Financially Self-Sufficient Organic Farm School
At A Glance
|Where:||Cerrito area outside Benjamín Aceval, Department of Villa Hayes, Paraguay|
|What:||Rural agricultural high school specializing in entrepreneurship|
|Number of employees:||20|
|Total revenue:||1,446,280,704 Paraguayan guaraníes (PYG) /
“We change peasants into rural entrepreneurs,” says Martin Burt, executive director of Fundación Paraguaya, a nonprofit foundation that since 1985 has been providing micro-lending and sustainable training to Paraguay’s farmers and other agricultural workers, as well as to women and young people.
Fundación Paraguaya’s Escuela Agrícola Orgánica Financieramente Autosufficiente (Financially Self-Sufficient Organic Farm School, or “Farm School” for short) offers a solid high school education focusing on strong agricultural practices, business skills, and entrepreneurship. Its mission is “to impart practical and entrepreneurial education to poor farmers to empower them to succeed economically.”
The school is located in Cerrito, an area outside the rural town of Benjamín Aceval, about 46 kilometers from Asunción, Paraguay’s capital and largest city.
“What sets our model apart from other approaches,” says Martin, “is that we have found a way to combine quality, relevance, and affordability. Our model offers high quality agricultural education at the secondary level, yet does not require poor students to pay any more than a token tuition fee. Other approaches either recognize the importance of quality but do not have a way to pay for it, or have found ways for the poor to pay for their education but cannot deliver quality.”