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FUNDACION BECA

Preventing child sexual abuse and violence

Asuncion, Paraguay

Meet the local nonprofit educating youth about their rights as children and lobbying for freedoms of reproductive self-determination.

Who Are They?

Fundacion BECA is made up of a team of six local teachers, social workers and psychologists, united in their passion to protect and promote the sexual and reproductive rights of local youth. They provide free education workshops for local adolescents and coordinate government lobbying to enforce the rights of children to education, sexual expression and reproductive freedom.

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Why is their work so important?

SEXUAL ABUSE

50% of sexual assault victims in Paraguay are girls under the age of 17.

(HRBrief, 2016)

CULTURE

Up to 47,000 Paraguayan children, mostly girls, are exploited every year as domestic servants.

(US Gov, 2014)

VULNERABILITY

Up to 60% of children in Paraguay report experiencing some form of violence at home.

(TeleSur, 2016)

PROTECTING LOCAL KIDS

Explore this Nonprofits amazing work first-hand.

What do they do?

Fundacion BECA works with local youth, educating them about their rights and coordinating advocacy efforts to affect broad political change. Given Paraguay's complex history surrounding the mistreatment of minors and the normalisation of child labour, organisations like BECA are viewed as essential agents of change. Indeed, the introduction of laws criminalising violence against children in (only) 2015 was seen as a victory to local nonprofits like BECA who had coordinated ongoing advocacy.

Educating a New Generation

Fundacion BECA operate a learning centre on the outskirts of Asuncion where they offer weekly workshops, educating youth about public policy and building their capacity to defend themselves against predatory behaviour. In an environment where the public education system offers very little information about the rights of children, the leaders of BECA claim that many who are exploited remain unaware that protections exist, and support is available. By empowering local youth with information about opportunities for support, they hope they can contribute to durable change from the grassroots up.

Advocating for Change

In addition to the provision of community workshops, BECA also coordinate an advocacy program to help steer public debate around child sexual assault and violence. These activities range from lobbying politicians individually through petitions, to holding public demonstrations in the cities active ‘Plaza de la Democracia’. Central to the success of this project is empowering local youth to drive campaigns, fostering a new generation of socially conscious Paraguayans who are able to participate in shaping their own future.

What do locals think?

Vanessa

Local Beneficiary

"Now that I know about my rights, I feel like I can speak up and protect others"

Nelly

BECA Director

"Once these kids are informed about their rights, they can make better decisions"

Juan

Local Beneficiary

"We learn something new at every workshop. It's good to know what protections exist "

"It is great to know that my baby can stay in the nursery whilst I learn"

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