June 24th, 2019

As I write this post, more than 1.000 Venezuelans are entering Colombia. Fleeing from threats and armed combats in their native Boca de Grita (VEN), they got into Colombia during last Saturday’s night. Colombia’s migration office attended some of the families and children and arranged a sports coliseum in Puerto Santander (COL) for them to sleep and get some food.

This group is added to the more than one million Venezuelans that are now living in Colombia. Some of them are in transit, trying to go to the southern part of America (to Argentina, Chile and Uruguay) or to Ecuador and Perú, and some of them are just trying to settle here, in Colombia, while the dreadful situation in Venezuela gets back into normal.

Our project has gained an unimaginable size. This week, after visiting a proposed facility to work with children, I found that the group that my partners in Colombia had founded was not constituted by migrant kids. For this reason, and because the purpose of the project has always been to work with Venezuelans migrants in Colombia, I decided to end that partnership. After that setback, my collaborators, aided by the Human Rights office of the City of Bogotá, got in contact with a large NGO that is working with UNHCR, and we are now well underway in creating a multi-session project for more than 500 Venezuelans who are newly arrived into Bogotá. This new order of magnitude has given me and my Colombia-based team a new force.

We will provide knowledge about human rights and about social opportunities in Colombia; we will give seminars and workshops on self-care and on the prevention of sexual abuse; and we are in the path of securing food from two of Colombia’s most important companies: Nutresa and Ramo. Ramo (or one of its owners) is set to provide the food for all the activities, allowing us to spend more funds in the actual seminars or in getting more Venezuelans into the program. I have meetings with them and a planned talk with a bank, hoping that this financial institution will provide the children with education kits (bags, notebooks, pencils).

If we succeed with these partnerships, the project will provide information and aid to around 1 in each 1000 Venezuelans in Colombia.

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