March 28, 2019
The escalation of violence and the political, economic and social crisis facing Venezuela has caused a large number of people to find themselves in situations of extreme vulnerability, both inside and outside the country. According to the latest data provided by host countries, there are currently more than 3.3 million migrants, refugees, or asylum seekers who have fled the country, “due largely to lack of food or access to critical medicines and health care, insecurity and political persecution..Cross-border movement of this magnitude is unprecedented in the recent history of the Americas, and the vulnerability of those who leave has also increased…”(1) This crisis has continued to worsen even more since March 7th, when electrical blackouts began to paralyze the country.
Starting in 2016, Friends of Fe y Alegría has been supporting different actions with our main local partner, Fe y Alegría Venezuela, which has been working in the country for over 60 years and serves more than 200,000 children and youth annually.
Thanks to the project “Schools of the Future: School Nutrition Program”, over 1.3 million meals have been served to over 1,500 students and personnel which has facilitated improvements in health metrics, school attendance, and academic achievement over the past three years. These numbers represent just two of more than 20 schools that are currently being supported with the help of Friends of Fe y Alegría and our partners at Entreculturas-Fe y Alegría Spain.
While many advances have been achieved through the implementation of this intervention, though, the school communities still largely suffer the effects of the humanitarian and economic crises plaguing Venezuela, and there is still much work to be done. However, the effectiveness and impact of this intervention is clear. A pilot project which started in two rural schools in eastern Venezuela has grown into a national priority for Fe y Alegría, with the program extending to rural and urban schools throughout the country.
At the same time, Magis Americas also serves as a platform to support other Jesuit organizations in Venezuela in responding to basic needs.
Thank you to all of our donors who have trusted in the work of Fe y Alegría and have made efforts to improve school nutrition in times of crisis possible. If you would like to learn more about what our partners are doing in Venezuela and support their work, please visit the Schools of the Future project page, or donate directly to the work of the Jesuits in Venezuela here.
(1) Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Inaugural Address to the Human Rights Council, September 10, 2018. Source: The Dialogue
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