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Ribbon HUNDRED 2020
An educational model based on "learning by doing, selling and earning", giving underprivileged young students access to quality education.

Self-sustaining Agricultural School Model

Fundación Paraguaya's Self-sustaining school model, connects underprivileged young people with quality education. Through this learning experience, students thrive personally and professionally, and open an array of opportunities. The "learning by doing" model allows them to break the circle of poverty by guiding them to become employable, pursue higher education, or start their own business.

Self-sustaining agricultural school

“Education is transformation. Entrepreneurship and technical skills are key elements to bring opportunity to young people.”

Martin Burt, CEO Fundacion Paraguaya

We work in low-income, mainly rural communities in Latin America and Africa, serving youth who come from chronically poor families, and have few educational opportunities beyond the primary level.

Our Self-sustaining school model offers a high-quality secondary school education, that requires students to pay a symbolic tuition fee. Other approaches either recognize the importance of providing a high-quality, entrepreneurial program, but do not have a way to pay for it, or have found ways for the poor to pay for their education, but cannot deliver quality. We ensure the quality and relevance of our program by giving students the opportunity to learn practical and entrepreneurial skills as they help run the school’s commercially viable, on-campus enterprises. By learning to run competitive enterprises—from production to marketing to record keeping—students acquire useful, marketable skills. At the same time, the school ensures that this education is affordable for the poor by generating enough income to cover all of its operating costs. 

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Innovation Overview
14 - 18
Age Group
3 000
Tips for implementation
Self-sustaining schools need a didactic and productive business plan to identify the business that shall be implemented at the school. A close evaluation on how these business units will contribute to train the youth and the school to become financially self-sustainable is also a must.
Contact information

See this innovation in action

Paraguay’s Self-Sustaining Ag. School Model Goes Global
The Financially Self-Sufficient School Model – Paraguay: Economically Empowering Education for Low-Income Youth
Financially Self-Sufficient Schools | Center for Education Innovations


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