South and North America Sustainable Development for World Peace has been central in organizing the numerous volunteer projects hosted in Leda, Paraguay since 2002. Among the central concerns of those in the Leda Settlement is improving the education levels in the region. Many of the indigenous villages in the state of Alto Paraguay lacked even a simple schoolhouse when the volunteer projects began. The Leda Settlement together with volunteer teams have over the years built three school houses, refurbished others and provided teacher support, school supplies, and furniture.
Another key focus for the Leda Settlement and the volunteer teams is their concern to find ways to contribute to sustainable development. Volunteer projects often include the planting saplings that are environmentally friendly and medicinally beneficial. Volunteers have offered important work in maintaining fish ponds and the aquaculture center whose release of tens of thousands of fish into the Paraguay River has helped local fisherman sustain their families.
The projects over the past 15 years are designed to provide experiential learning opportunities in many areas of life. These experiences have contributed to the promotion of intercultural understanding, healthy lifestyles and sustainable development.
In addition to the annual volunteer teams that have come from Japan, other projects have taken place in the area. Notable are the August 2003 and 2004 projects cosponsored by the Religious Youth Service (RYS) and the International Relief Friendship Foundation (IRFF). Volunteer teams from the USA came to work and share under the theme of: Community Harmony and Environmental Sustainability as a Gateway to Peace. Participants worked on the construction of two village schools, with one being the first schoolhouse ever in its respective community.
1st Annual Pathways for a Sustainable Future Project 2015:
Project Report and Photos
In September 2013 and 2014, the Japanese-led projects added volunteers from Brazil and the USA. The widening of the participant base has served to create a richer cross-cultural experience, which stimulated the first global project in 2015.
On the foundation of trust developed among the local indigenous communities, the Leda Settlement and the international volunteer organizations, a major international service project was undertaken in July 2015. Participants from 11 nations joined the 1st Pathways to a Sustainable Future Project, which provided the local community and the participants with such a rewarding experience that the organizers have decided to offer the 2nd Pathways to a Sustainable Future Project, in July, 2016.