The Paraguay Project is a joint initiative between Bloomsbury Institute, Goodenough College and the Santa Maria Education Fund. Now in its second year, the project awards a fully-funded scholarship for one exceptional Paraguayan graduate to study for their Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree at Bloomsbury Institute and live at Goodenough College. The scholarship covers 50 weeks of study and living costs providing a remarkable opportunity for the scholar to develop both academically and socially; an option unlikely to have been otherwise available for many of the people who grow up in southern Paraguay, an incredibly deprived part of the world.
Last year, the inaugural Paraguay Project Scholarship was awarded to Abrahan Alejandro Burgos Ayala, who joined us in October 2023.
My perspective for my future has changed totally. Bloomsbury has opened my mind and shown me that there are a wide number of opportunities for me.
A friendly and familiar face around Bloomsbury Institute, Abrahan will graduate with his MBA in November. Musing on his time studying with us, Abrahan says: “my course helped me to reflect on how I used to do things, and realise that there is a better way of doing the things I used to do. Now I feel like I have the confidence to put what I am learning into practice. It feels like staff don’t offer support because it’s their job, but because they actually care, everyone makes you feel at home. Coming here makes you realise you can do things you never thought you could do before, it teaches you just how capable you are. My perspective for my future has changed totally, Bloomsbury has opened my mind and shown me that there are a wide number of opportunities for me. Bloomsbury Institute has been completely life-changing”.
Abrahan also spoke at our reception event at 7 Bedford Square in June along with journalist, writer, and Director of the Santa Maria Education Fund, Margaret Hebblethwaite, and Alice Walpole, the Director of Goodenough College. Cal Courtney, our Deputy CEO & Director of Community Engagement and Learning, then announced the winner of the 2023 Paraguay Project Scholarship. There were four shortlisted potential scholars to consider: Evelin, Noelia, Patricia C, and Sever. Although all four of the prospective students’ submissions were deemed to be of remarkable quality, and all four of the applications have been successful, only one could receive the scholarship.
Noelia is the winner of the Paraguay Project Scholarship for 2023-2024! Having read Business Administration at the Universidad Católica in San Ignacio, Noelia has worked hard to gain her qualifications. Noela’s parents have struggled to pay for food and essential costs whilst she has worked as a hotel receptionist, as a computer teacher, in a sugar factory, as an English teacher, as a volunteer and as a Coordinator for the Language Program of Columbia, often alongside her studies. Noelia focussed her essay on the importance of gender equality for the development of Paraguay stating that it is “vital to help women manage their finances through initiatives that promote financial literacy and bank account access. These efforts can lead to sustainable job creation and economic development while highlighting local culture and products.”
We look forward to welcoming Noelia to Bloomsbury Institute in October and supporting her on the next step of her journey.
The Paraguay Project Scholarship is a fully-funded scholarship exclusively available to exceptional prospective students from Paraguay who do not have the financial means to pursue post-graduate qualifications in the UK. We are committed to breaking barriers to higher education for all though and other financial support is available for Bloomsbury Institue students including a free laptop.
The Santa María Education Fund was founded to enable poor students from Santa María de Fe, southern Paraguay, to continue their education after secondary school, without paying fees. The fund supports a variety of educational programmes and aims to provide whatever support is necessary to enable a good student to continue their studies.