San Ignacio

SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Paraguay).

In southern Paraguay, in the Misiones department, San Ignacio is home to 36,000 inhabitants. Commerce, cattle and agriculture, specifically the growing of tobacco and soya, are key to the economy here. But the country’s economic reliance on agriculture makes it vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Intense rainfalls and droughts are increasingly common and have a negative impact on all sectors, particularly in rural areas.

Since 1989, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in San Ignacio.

Of the rural population lives in extreme poverty

Poverty puts children at risk

In the countryside, 35% of people are living in poverty, with 12 % living in extreme poverty, which means that their income cannot cover the cost of a basket of food. In San Ignacio and other rural areas, the living conditions of thousands of families are becoming increasingly precarious. As a result, many children work to contribute to the family income. It can also have severe effects on the well-being of the parents and on the way they treat their children. Across the country, over half of the children experience some form of abuse at home, whether physical or psychological.

Of children are engaged in child labour

Child labour

More than 5% of Paraguayan children aged 10 to 14 working, and 53% of them work in agriculture. Children from rural and indigenous communities have difficulty accessing and completing education, including language barriers and inadequate facilities. Another common practice is the so-called criadazgo, in which wealthy families informally employ children as domestic workers from low-income families. Many of these children are in domestic servitude and subject to violence and abuse.

Your support makes a difference for children in San Ignacio

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Can stay together
Children and young people
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Playing football with her siblings. Children in our care form bonds that often last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Paraguay).

How your support helps in San Ignacio

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment.We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centred learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Younger children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. In San Ignacio, we also care for children with mental and physical disabilities. We offer them special facilities and therapies. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.