The fruit and vegetable wholesale centre “Abasto” is in Paraguay. Many children and young people are forced even from a very young age to work or look for food there. Lemonaid & ChariTea Foundation supports the children’s centre „Ñande Rekoha“ (Our Space), which offers children a safe space within this environment.
“Abasto”, where the agricultural produce of the region is traded, is on the outskirts of Asuncion. A vibrant, chaotic place – definitely worth a visit for a tourist. For many children who live in poverty, and families who work in the market, it’s also a place that stops them from going to school. The children’s centre „Ñande Rekoha“ (Our Space) takes these children in. In the former storage hall for vegetables, up to 80 children between six and fourteen years old come each day. The only precondition of attendance is that the children must be regular school attendees. Ñande Rekoha offers the children care, helps with health, hygiene and nutrition, and includes the parents or carers in their pedagogy. The children’s centre is a second home where they can practice respectful interaction, do their homework, go on trips and play. Medical and psychological experts examine the children regularly on a pro bono basis.
The Lemonaid & ChariTea Foundation finances the annual dietary provision at the centre. This consists of a daily breakfast and snacks. Once a week, there is also a cookery project where the children learn to make healthy meals from local ingredients. At the end of the lesson, they tuck into the fruits of their labours with gusto.