Project New Horizons is a world wide scholarship program for female college students designed to aid with tuition and book costs. Scholarships ranges from $500 to $2000 and they are awarded at the beginning of each semester. Research has shown that empowering women can lead to healthier families, healthier economies, and can be a key to breaking the cycle of poverty for families around the world.
Please help us empower our girls and help our community by contributing to this program, please click on the button below!
Here’s the story of one of our scholarship recipients Leidy Lopez in Paraguay.
Leidy Romina Lopez Sanchez is a 20 year old Paraguayan who lives in the San Blas neighborhood in the city of Asuncion, Paraguay. Specifically she lives in the area surrounding the city’s landfill named Cateura. She is single mother of two children; Michael and Giovanni, 4 and 1 year old respectively.
Like many others in her community, Leidy works as a “ganchera” (trash picker) to survive. She has successfully completed her high school, and was even the best graduate of her class thanks to her dedication and effort. Quite an achievement, considering that many young people in her condition fail to finish school.
Leidy always had a dream of going to college and that dream still remains intact but the chances given their situation are slim to none.
A difficult situation
The communities that settled around the Cateura landfill are made up of families who migrated from the countryside in search of better living conditions. The reality they encountered was even more difficult, and ended up adding to the poverty belt of the city. In addition, they suffer each year with the rising of the Paraguay river forcing them to move to higher ground.
It is a vulnerable and unprotected area where opportunities to get ahead are very scarce. Leidy is part of this reality. Just 2 out of 10 young people graduate from high school and and none have access to the university. All they can hope for is to “ganchear” (pick trash) between the mountain of garbage that arrives from Asuncion. They collect cardboard, cans, plastic, glass or any other item that has monetary value for recyclers, or they work as street vendors or car caretakers in the street.
A constant threat for young people in this community are drugs. A large majority becomes consumers of very dangerous substances as crack, leading to crime and some cases to jail. To the youth of this community, there is not looming new horizon in the future.
An opportunity for Leidy
Since she was in high school Leidy dreamed of studying in the University and become a professional that allows for both, her and her family to carry a more dignified and stable life. She has such clarity and determination that she always knew what she wanted to study; Forensic Science. Yes, it is a profession that might be considered uncommon, but one that Leidy is passionate and motivated about.
She is also sensitive to the situation faced by her young peers and thinks that studying and becoming a professional could help in improving her community. And the question is; what would the future look like if Leidy could become the professional she dreams of being, and finding a job that will provide her and her family with better living conditions? And if we respond by giving an opportunity to Leidy?
Project NEW HORIZON is undertaken by the Future Kind and seeks to create opportunities for people from disadvantaged, vulnerable and discriminated areas wanting a decent and stable way of life. Specifically, it aims to work with people living in Cateura areas near the landfill.
As part of this project, we are working to give Leidy the chance it deserves. How do we do it?
- Managing a scholarship that includes exemption from 100% of all fees at the University during the years of study
- A monthly allowance to help them cope with expenses involving study (mobility, food, clothing, household expenditure)
- Getting donations of the supplies needed to study in college (Computer, books)