PARAGUAY, Dequení and editorial team •
Two teenage girls from Arroyos y Esteros, and San Ignacio, Misiones, took the voices of children and youths from Paraguay to the End Violence Solutions Summit on 14 and 15 February in Stockholm, Sweden. The Swedish Government in cooperation with the Global Alliance and Global Partnership to end the violence against children gathering organized the event.
This is about Ángeles (17) and Leticia (15), active leaders in their communities, through Canadian Christian Foundation for Children and Aldeas Infantiles SOS (SOS Children’s Villages) Paraguay, respectively. In October, both represented Paraguayan children and teens in the 8º Global Campaign for Violence Prevention, organized by the World Health Organization and the Canadian government.
One of them, Ángeles, was supported by Dequení since she was 5. A great leader today! Some sponsors, who years ago and perhaps for many years donated a scholarship so that this little girl from a family of limited resources could go to school, learn, feel loved and supported, would be happy today knowing that each one of their sacrifices, their prayers, and their contributions were worthwhile.
The teens are a part of the Paraguayan delegation led by the Ministry of Childhood and Adolescence, Ricardo González Borgne and moreover, integrated by Olegario Olmedo, Director of Aldeas Infantiles SOS and Jorge Méndez Rheineck, director del CCFC, who will represent the civil society as a part of the Comisión Nacional de Violencia (National Commission of Violence).
“I am going to represent the children of my country”
Ángeles affirms that representing her country fills her with pride and great satisfaction, “I feel very excited to represent my country once again and especially all children and teens in this summit”. She also mentioned that through the organized groups of those who participate, she feels can influence and change many things “In the spaces of participation of CCFC, I discovered everything that I am capable of doing, now I can say that children and teens can have some influence, that we have the power to act,” she said.
On her part, Leticia said that she is very happy. “I am very excited about the idea of learning about a new country, making new friends, and above all, being able to represent my peers and speak about Paraguay’s challenges in a place with so many people that work to eradicate violence against children and young people.”
It will be a high-level conference that will show the political will to globally end violence against children and to offer leaders opportunities to share their experiences and good practices.
Commitment to children
Since 1985, the Dequení Foundation, a Paraguayan non-profit organization, helps children that grow in families and communities affected by poverty. Its programs promote their education, and the strengthening of their families and their communities. It believes in people’s ability to improve, therefore its programs not only provide assistance, but also they sustain them in the long term, transforming people into protagonists of their own development. To fulfill this mission, they work in alliance with public and private organizations. Dequení takes its name from the biblical phrase of the Gospel: “Let the children come to me.” (Mk. 10:14)
Youths from the Schoenstatt Movement founded Dequení; Fr. Pedro Kühlcke is its spiritual director, and several Schoenstatters are on its Governing Board.
End Violence Solutions Summit is a call for action that gathers governments, the UN, civil society, the private sector, scholars, and children themselves to share daring solutions that will prevent and be a responce to violence against children.
With material from the La Nación newspaper, Paraguay
Ángeles is one of the more than 4,000 children, that each year, enjoy the Dequení program. It gives a tremendous joy to be a part of Dequení through prayer, capital of grace, and also if possible through a donation of solidarity. Do it now!
Spanish. 10 February 2018. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA