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current aid projects

The list of projects already completed since 2007 is to be found under the heading "What did we achieve so far".

In 2014, our projects are as follows:

1. "Sponsorship of disadvantaged schoolchildren": at the end of 2010, 18 such boys and girls had swiss "godparents" who were financing about 60% of their yearly schooling costs, i.e. about 650 CHF per child per schoolyear. Thanks to the "Christmas Action" of a swiss college, the "Collège de la Planta" in Sion, Valais - this college sponsors one cultural / humanitarian association once a year at Christmas time, by raising funds - 16 new schoolchildren had found swiss "godparents". In spring 2011, thanks to an important donation from the foundation "Les Enfants d'Abord" and other generous donors, more children had found "godparents". In April 2015, 47 schoolchildren - boys and girls - are thus sponsored for their studies through the Association. Our aim is to reach the figure of 50 children and then to ensure as much as possible the continuity of their education at Pa'i Puku (You can see pictures of these children in the Gallery, under "photos"). At the end of 2015, thanks to a second "Christmas Action" by the same Collège de la Planta in our favour, more disadvantaged children could be sponsored.  At the schoolyear 2016, 66 disadvantaged schoolchildren had their studies sponsored through our Association. In 2017, 58 schoolchildren have been sponsored through our Association. In 2018, 51 children have been sponsored.

Herebelow you will find 3 files of children still in need of a "godparent", with their photograph and brief life history.

 - Case 1   (PDF files, please click)  - Case 2        - Case 3       

2. "Milk / Cheese factory of Pa'i Puku": the herd of milkcows is kept at about 26 cows and one bull (toro). The cows are milked twice a day and the monthly milk production  is about 7'500 litres (after deduction of the milk given to the calves). This milk is entirely consumed by the residents, either as milk or yoghurt, or as cheese. The female calves are kept on the farm and eventually replace the milk cows. Once the milk cows do not produce milk anymore, they are butchered on the spot and the meat is served with the meals. The male calves are kept for a few months, then sold. The Farm also has a herd of about 100 goats and quite a number of pigs. All these animals eventually end up as food for the residents. The tractor of the Center and our four hay" machines, are used to always have a reserve of hay, in the form of bales and protected from the rain under a large roof. Thanks to this stock of hay, the herd can be fed even in times of dry spells, or when too much rain stops the herd to graze on the grounds. Two employees of the Cente (cow-boys), have been trained by our consultant Gerber and take care of the milkcows, the hay, the milk/yoghurt/cheese production and also act as butchers. For all these tasks, they are assisted by groups of schoolchildren, who alternate every week.

From the year of the construction of the milk / cheese factory, we had mandated Mr Werner Gerber, the Agro. Engineer already mentionned, to follow the activities of the Farm of Pa'i Puku, of the production of milk, the fabrication of cheese and yoghurt and also to always see that the Farm has a  stock of hay as emergency fodder for the animals. Since April 2013, this mandate has been entrusted to the NGO company directed by Mr Gerber, named MICROLAC. Mr Gerber is in contact with the management of Pa'i Puku and also visit the site as often as necessary. The percentage of food produced by the Farm in the total food required to feed 550 persons during 10 months, is more and more important. The mandate we have with MICROLAC end in March 2018 and at this date we shall judge if the Center's management and the farm employees are sufficiently knowledgeable to run this Farm by themselves; this was the aim from the start of the project.

3. Production of fruit pulp: The food served to the 500 children residing at Pa'i Puku, has much improved since 2007, with the milk, yoghourt, cheese, vegetables and meat produced by the Farm. However the residents don't have access to fruits. Once or twice a month, they receive one orange or one banana, brought from Asuncion by the Center's minibus. While fruits do not grow in the Chaco on account of the salinity of the soil and ground waters, to the east of the country - lthe "Oriente" - which has a different soil and topography, fruits grow naturaly in the nature: mangoes, grapefruits, goyaves, passion fruits, maracujas, bananas, oranges and others. The bulk of these fruits rot on the site, being not picked on trees on account of the distance to markets and the roads being often too bad for transport. Since few months, local women from poor families, grouped in one Association, harvest/pick these fruits and produce a "fruit pulp" by heating the fruits to 45°, adding some sugar, stevia and some citric acid for conservation. This "new" product is sold in buckets of 20 kg, which can be re-used. After discussion with the Center's management, in July 2015, we decided to try to provide the Center of Pa'i Puku with this fruits' pulp, for the remaning 5 months of the schoolyear, at the rate of 200 kg per month. This was organised, the pulp of various tropical fruits is mixed with the yoghurts fabricated at the Farm and is also served at breakfast with the bread, which is also made on the spot.Even though this pulp do not replace fresh fruits, it still contains many ingredients which are a benefit for developping children. The residents of Pa'i Puku consumed all this pulp and were very eager to receive more. Since february 2016, we are supplying this pulp to the Center, at the rate of 200 kg per month. The yearly cost of the 2'000 kg of pulp is 6'500 CHF, packing and tranport from the Oriente to the Center included. In 2017 and 2018, we have supplied more than 2'400 kg of pulp. We have half the financing for the year 2019 and are looking for the other half. From 2020 onwards, we have agreed with the Management of the Center, that the pulp will be financed by the benefits of the Farm.

4. Early in 2018, with the end of the mandate of our consultant Gerber, it appeared that the Farmwas not managed at 100% of its possibilities, because it lacked a manager solely responsible for its management. We have thus agreed with the Management of the Center, to train a Farm Manager cum cheesemaker, who would be fully responsible for the Farm management (milk cows, milk production, cheese fabrication, hay, goats/pigs/sheep, vegetable gardens, agricultural machines etc). A young man who did all his schooling at Pa'i Puku, has been selected and sent to Valais, Switzerland for 5 months, to receive an appropriate training (through the Ecole d'Agriculture de Chateauneuf). He did spend the summer 2018 at the "alpage de Flore", to be trained at the elaboration of cheese. It is planned that when he returns to Paraguay in october 2018, he will be employed as the Pa'i Puku farm manager. To assist him for the first year, our consultatn Gerber has received a new mandate of one year, to ensure that the new manager receives all the assistance he may need.