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PARAGUAY: Salesian students win first place Municipal Prize for Student Initiative on Human Rights for their game that teaches children’s rights


(MissionNewswire) Students attending the Sacred Heart of Jesus Salesian school in Asunción, Paraguay, have won first place in the public services category at the Municipal Prize for Student Initiative on Human Rights organized by the Municipal Council of Asunción. Their winning project, “The world of Derni,” is a new educational game focused on teaching children’s rights. The game was subjected to a quasi-experimental investigation to show that applied in the classroom, it produces positive effects on users learning rights and duties.

“We are proud and honored to have the opportunity to meet the concerns of youth mobilized and involved in social issues,” said part of the statement from the Municipal Council about the event. The Salesian project was developed by students Camila García, Katherine Cáceres, Alicia Rodríguez and Ramón Cardozo. The project was led by Professor Carlos Molinas.

Whether it’s combating child labor, assisting homeless youth or building schools where children previously had no access to education, Salesian missionaries are on the front lines educating youth on their rights and ensuring access to programs and services they need. Working in more than 5,500 Salesian educational institutions and youth centers around the world, missionaries educate children in some of the poorest places on the planet.

“Education is always our primary focus, but we know youth are dealing with much more than just needing access to education,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesian missionaries also provide education on human rights which provides vulnerable youth a sense of personal dignity and self-worth. At Salesian schools, young children gain an education, learn about their rights and freedoms and participate in sports and other activities—all in a safe environment that encourages learning and growth.”

Salesian missionaries have been working in Paraguay since establishing a church in Asunción in 1896. Through the years, missionaries have operated educational programs to help advance the skills and knowledge of the indigenous population in the area while promoting strong cooperation with leaders of the indigenous culture. Local Salesian programming supports laws in favor of the indigenous populations, the recovery of original lands, sustainable development, the appreciation of cultural values in each ethnic group and the fostering of internal leadership.

Paraguay is among the poorest countries in South America. According to UNICEF, almost 23 percent of its population of 6.5 million people lives in poverty earning less than $1 per day. The gap between the small upper class and the large lower class is extreme and offers virtually no social mobility.

Conditions of poverty drive youth into early labor. A lack of literacy, in addition to a weak educational foundation, compounds the problem. Those in poverty face overcrowding, low-quality housing and a lack of access to basic household services. Paraguayans who only graduate from primary school are twice as likely to live in poverty as those who have access to and complete secondary school.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS)

ANS – Paraguay – “Salesianito” wins Municipal Prize for Human Rights

Salesian Missions – Paraguay

UNICEF – Paraguay