USAID Program Promotes Licit Livelihoods in Northern Areas
Paraguay’s rural northern zone suffers from high poverty rates and violence related to illicit activities, particularly along its border with Brazil.
To overcome these challenges and promote vibrant, prospering communities, ACDI/VOCA works to strengthen local governance and encourage economic development through the USAID-funded Inciativa Zona Norte (IZN) program.
Economic Opportunities Key for Region’s Future
Under the premise that instability and unrest in Paraguay are inextricably linked to poverty and lack of opportunities, IZN works with local partners to identify strategies to support job and income generation in the northern region.
During the past several months, the program targeted grants and technical assistance to seven nascent small enterprises based in and around San Pedro, Concepción. To complement this support, IZN, in partnership with the local nongovernmental organization Fundacion CIRD, customized a microenterprise training program for participants who are illiterate or have scant knowledge of how to run a business. The four-month course taught the basics of how to create and manage a small business.
With help from local municipalities, IZN expanded the training to include additional community members and local microenterprises, creating an even bigger impact for the local community.
Tailored Training Schedule Promotes Women Attendance
A recent graduation ceremony showcased the program’s gender-responsive programming. Of 60 participants in the business course from 16 rural microenterprises, 80 percent were women.
IZN tailored the program to encourage participation by local women. A flexible class schedule accommodated participants’ child care and other household responsibilities.
ACDI/VOCA works to promote gender equity in all aspects of our programs because women have proven to be essential partners in the economic growth of developing countries. In this and other programs, ACDI/VOCA actively tailors its activities to ensure that women are fully able to engage in trainings.