Strengthening Lives

LBV’s social assistance program in Paraguay encourages women’s autonomy

By the Editorial Staff

Monday | August 17, 2015 | 9:04 AM | Last update: September 22, 2016, 4:07 PM (Brasilia time)

Promoting the autonomy of women, many of them mothers and heads of family, improving their selfesteem and their ability to overcome challenges and day-to-day hardships are some of the goals of the Strengthening Lives group, an activity of the Good Will in Action program. Created in 2011 by the LBV of Paraguay, over the last four years the group has already benefited hundreds of women by offering them handicraft courses, holding talks on themes of interest to the population, and sharing practices that help promote sustainable development.

María Mendes

For Zulma Galeano, 34, member of the group from the San Ignacio de Loyola settlement, taking part in this activity has only brought her benefits. “Last year I started having crochet lessons. I was surprised to find out that they were offering free courses at the LBV, because in other places if you want to study and learn something you have to pay for it and I didn’t have any money for that. The little I earned was to buy food for my children. I thank the LBV for transforming my life and the lives of so many other people for the better,” she said. Ms. Galeano is currently selling her own crochet products, which has helped support her and her family.

The Good Will in Action program is carried out by the LBV in Asuncion, in the Villa Angélica settlement, in the city of Lambaré, and in the San Ignacio de Loyola settlement, in the city of Ciudad del Este. In all three locations the Organization provides classes in canvas and fabric painting, knitting, and shoe decorating to help remedy the socially vulnerable situation these communities find themselves in. Thanks to the partnership with the National Service for Professional Promotion (SNPP), of the Ministry of Labor, Employment, and Social Security of Paraguay, the Organization also runs courses in manicure and pedicure, hairdressing, among others.