The affiliate organization through whom Star of Hope works, in Argentina, is the Good Shepherd Evangelical Foundation (Fundación Evangélica El Buen Pastor), working together since 1972.
The organization works to provide educational opportunities, social development projects, trade schools and evangelism to the often marginalized Toba ethnic group in the Chaco province, about 120 miles north of the capital, Buenos Aires. Humanitarian efforts include water, feeding and emergency support to families in severe need.
The Toba are an ethnic group in Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay. They are part of a larger group of indigenous inhabitants of the Gran Chaco region, called the Guaycurues. As of 2005, there are 47,951 Toba in Argentina, living in the provinces of Chaco, Formosa and Santa Fe.
This is done primarily through educating children; believing this is the basis for all other development. Working with families allows us to inform them about their children's right to schooling and what an education can mean, not only for the child but also for society as a whole. It is often difficult to secure the regular attendance of the children of Indians because many of them move to where they can find work. Many follow the cotton harvest or move periodically to relatives in the larger cities in search of work. Only about 5 % have steady jobs.
An opportunity for education
In addition to the schooling we provide children with food, clothing, school supplies and basic health care. Through our activities we want to give children and their parents hope that it is possible to change the seemingly hopeless situations. In addition to assistance with schooling the knowledge that someone from the outside believes in them and shows that they share the dignity and rights as the more privileged groups in society. An increasing number of children belonging to indigenous people are now finishing compulsory school and go on to higher studies.
Many of the schools our sponsored children are attending have been renovated and expanded by Star of Hope. We have built daycare centers in Irogoyen and Nam Qom.The children also receive dental and health care in the health care ¬central Star of Hope built in the area of Nam Qom, Pablo VI, Soledad and Taqaq.Star of Hope has trained several bi-lingual teachers who are available both for primary schools and high schools to support the Toba community.
Fundación Evangélica El Buen Pastor website (in Spanish)