POSTED August 25, 2021
Young dreamer strives to achieve her goals with help from her sponsor
Carolina shares her dream to become a doctor and help her community thrive
By Rosanna Menchaca, communications manager, Paraguay and Javier Mendoza, local partner representative
“When I grow up I want to heal people who get sick,” young Carolina tells us.
It’s a daring statement for a girl living in rural Paraguay, where education is not strongly encouraged for girls, and less girls than boys complete post-secondary studies. Through Children Believe child sponsorship, however, costs related to Carolina’s education are covered until the end of high school.
“One of the barriers Paraguay girls face is the stigma that women have to stay at home and men go out to work or even to study,” explains Carolina’s teacher, Estela. “At the end of high school, boys are prioritized over girls to access higher education as women are expected to help at home.
But, Carolina’s dream job is sorely needed, especially since access to doctors in her community is scarce because of the long distance to urban areas and treacherous road conditions. The only physician works weekdays, providing basic medical attention. For specialized or weekend care, the nearest option is a hospital, 30 kilometres away. Along with poor roads, transportation is difficult to arrange.
Sadly, COVID-19 school closures have caused major disruptions to Paraguay’s education system. Remote learning was out of reach for many, as home Internet is scarce.
Even today, schools haven’t returned to “normal” as many students continue to learn virtually. Virtual learning was at least possible for Carolina as her mother has cellphone service, which has been shared among her three children, ages 12, eight and six.
It hasn’t been easy though. “I miss my classmates and playing with them,” Carolina says. “I do my homework. It’s easy except for math,” she adds with a smile.
Carolina’s family is among the nearly 40,000 in Paraguay to have received emergency food packs from Children Believe during the COVID-19 pandemic; and among the 13,000+ given hygiene kits (as of August) along with pamphlets explaining the importance of hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus.
Through the support of Children Believe sponsors and donors, Carolina and others like her won’t lose the school year, and she will be one step closer to realizing her dream of becoming a doctor.< BACK TO OUR BLOGS