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Fundación Paraguaya
Fundacion Paraguaya

UNEVOC Centre (Training provider) since 2013

Fundación Paraguaya is a self-sustainable, non-governmental organization. Since its foundation in 1985, it has spearheaded microfinance and entrepreneurship in Paraguay.

With more than 300 staff in 28 offices across the country, Fundación Paraguaya develops and implements practical, innovative, and sustainable solutions to eliminate poverty in order to create decent conditions for all families using four inter-related strategies:

  • A microcredit program, which serves more than 78.000 small and emerging micro-entrepreneurs who are largely ignored by other microfinance institutions;
  • A program of entrepreneurial and financial education for children and youth;
  • A program of financially self-sustainable farming high-schools that train the sons and daughters of poor farmers to become their own “rural entrepreneurs;”
TeachAManToFish, a separate NGO established in London that helps spreading the Fundación’s financially self-sufficient school model around the world.

The educational model we propose undertakes a different path in the struggle to eradicate poverty. We work with poor rural communities to transform their youth into rural entrepreneurs.

In addition to high quality education, self-sustainable productive business units, which cover 1005 of the School’s operating costs, are incorporated. This model uses the “Learn by Doing, Selling and Earning” methodology that has a curriculum based on theory classes complemented by hands-on field practice.

With this innovative approach we seek to make a difference, and above all ensure that more youth at risk acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to begin their own rural enterprises, access a decent job in the agriculture/livestock sector or continue studying. Moreover, it is a school model that can be replicated anywhere in the world thanks to its social franchise based on entrepreneurship.

We are using our microfinance program to eliminate the poverty that affects the families of our more than 57,000 clients, from rural and urban areas. 86% of these clients are women. To do so, we have developed a practical methodology which, as a first step, allows poor families to self-diagnose their own poverty, and then permits to develop personalized strategies that help families to permanently pull themselves out of poverty. We call it the “Poverty Stoplight” approach created to eliminate multidimensional poverty.

This methodology makes poverty “visible” by dividing the model into 6 dimensions and 50 indicators, so that a poor person can visualize the ways in which poverty affects their own family. As the name suggests, our tool uses stoplight colors: Red (for Extremely Poor), Yellow (for Poor), Green (for Not Poor), as well as photographs, maps, tablets, and a visual survey to create innovative plans that enable the poor communities to better understand and visualize the ways in which they are affected by poverty.

Working with Hewlett Packard (HP), we have developed a 20-minute visual survey that uses photos to simplifies the gathering of data on poor families while encouraging them to focus on filling a much-needed gap.

We compete in the microfinance industry, however, unlike other microfinance entities, which only offer “financial inclusion”, our value proposition is – like Aladin- to unleash the “genie” within each family by giving them the tools and motivation to overcome their poverty. We are not seeking to alleviate, reduce or combat poverty; we plan to eliminate it! This innovative strategy makes us different.

We measure our impact by the number of families that overcome poverty every year thanks to our project. For example, in the last 3 years, we have enabled 16,000 families to overcome poverty with respect to their level of income, but what we really want is for microfinance institutions all over the world to adopt the Poverty Stoplight methodology. Latin America count up to more than 11 million clients of microfinance institutions. Therefore, we are working to create a better awareness and understanding of this methodology, so the microfinance institutions can adopt it and empower millions of families to overcome poverty all over the world.


To achieve 100% employability of our graduates through a 100% market-based entrepreneurship curriculum which allows our school to achieve 100% financial self-sufficiency, and to disseminate lessons learned in Paraguay and the world.


As part of the Strategic Plan, we have set the following goals for the period 2012-2017:

  • Pull 30,000 families out of poverty in increasing their income to above the national poverty line and help 9,000 families to overcome multidimensional poverty.
  • Consolidate and strengthen the microfinance model of Fundación Paraguaya.
  • Consolidate 5 Self-Sustainable Schools in Paraguay.
  • Increase by at least 2.5 times the programmatic capacity (total # of clients) of Fundación Paraguaya.
  • Have at least one national government to adopt one methodology to combat poverty.
  • Consolidate the financially self-sustainable school model in Africa.

Regular tasks

  • To implement classroom and practical training sessions and train adolescent boys and girls from vulnerable and poor backgrounds
  • To provide education not only to Paraguayan stuents but also to students from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador and Haiti, as well as indigenous nations from around Paraguay
  • To provide students with opportunities to see how education relates to the job market in general and to income generation in particular
  • To train local and international visitors
  • To provide microfinance loans to graduating students so that they can implement lessons learned in the school with their family farms or in their communities
  • To provide technical training to students in how to develop business plans for their future businesses
  • To execute a USD 350.000 budget on the school enterprises

Focus and interest

Work area

Which of the following fields is the UNEVOC Centre working on?
Sharing knowledge about TVET
Primary focus
Developing knowledge
  Secondary focus
Developing and building capacities
Primary focus


Who are the beneficiaries of the UNEVOC Centre's work?
Primary focus
Primary focus
Policy makers
Primary focus
Private sector
Primary focus

Engagement interest

What is the highest level of engagement the Centre is interested in in the following fields?
Greening of TVET institutions and skills
  Interested to contribute
   Interested to learn
OER and Online Learning
  Interested to contribute
Equity of access in TVET
  Interested to contribute
Gender equality in TVET
  Interested to contribute
Fostering entrepreneurship
Interested to lead
Industry 4.0 / Smart production
   Interested to learn

Activity interest

Which types of activities is the UNEVOC Centre most interested in?
Capacity development projects
Highly interested
Policy oriented projects
  Moderately interested
Knowledge development
Highly interested
Workshops and conferences
  Moderately interested

Regional collaboration interest

What are the UNEVOC Centre's collaboration interests?
Within my cluster
Highly interested
With Africa
Highly interested
With the Arab States
Highly interested
With Asia and the Pacific
Highly interested
With Europe, CIS and North America
Highly interested
With Latin America and the Caribbean
Highly interested


Fundacion Paraguaya
Manuel Blinder 5589
Teniente Espinoza
1887 Asuncion


local time now: ~02:55 ±1 hour daylight saving time

Head of UNEVOC Centre
CEO Martin Burt

UNEVOC Coordinator
Luis Cateura
Escuelas Autosuficientes

[Full contact information only for logged-in UNEVOC Network members]


12 September 2018
UNEVOC Latin American Network Strengthens Ties
During its annual REDITEC meeting in Brazil, the National Council of the Federal Network of Vocational, Scientific, and Technological Education Institutions (Conif), jointly with UNESCO-UNEVOC, organized a UNEVOC Network cluster meeting for Latin America.
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