The Esperanza Fostering Project brings hope to some of the abandoned and abused children of Paraguay by providing them with a loving home whilst they await a permanent family.


Paraguay is a country with a high level of poverty. Hunger, addictions, domestic abuse and unwanted pregnancies are commonplace. The infant mortality rate is amongst the most worrying in South America and a concerning number of children are abandoned or taken into care. Children’s Homes are bursting at the seams, unwilling to turn youngsters onto the streets but suffering the sad consequences of over- crowding. Economic difficulties within the country mean that the already poorly resourced Paraguayan Social Services are not always able to protect children’s human rights effectively.


The Esperanza Foster Home was founded by SAMS Mission Partners in 2005 who had unexpectedly found themselves adopting whilst living in Paraguay. Their belief was that the benefits of a loving family environment are crucial and will be seen throughout a child’s life. For this reason, a maximum of 6 young children are cared for at any one time in the home so as to maximise all aspects of healthy development while awaiting a decision on a return to their birth family or adoption in Paraguay. The children often arrive suffering from conditions such as emotional trauma or malnutrition but the progress they make in just a few months is encouraging to observe.


The Esperanza team now consists entirely of local women and combines paid and volunteer carers as well as a leadership committee that includes a lawyer. They are able to show God’s love to the children in practical ways and join many in praying for God’s purposes to be worked out in these young lives. The team work closely with Paraguayan Social Services and some have been involved in activities promoting good practice nationally, even meeting with the Vice President and Minister for Children. The legal process to decide on the future of a child can be frustratingly lengthy and some of the Esperanza children have spent over 3 years in care. This is why having a lawyer on the leadership team is so helpful.


Although the Esperanza Project is now an independent, registered charity, it maintains close links with the Paraguayan Anglican church and is renting a spacious house from the diocese. It also has close links with San Andres College whose ex pupils help with volunteering and fundraising. The project costs around £30,000 a year to run, around half of which comes from the UK and Ireland. Sometimes the team wonder if they will have enough funds to continue, but God has been incredibly faithful and, so far, over 150 children’s lives have been blessed by this project. If you would like to bless Esperanza through a donation or standing order, please include a note mentioning this when you give to SAMS in the ways mentioned on their donation page. Thank you.

Read more in the Esperanza leaflet.