Supporting Venezuelan Parents and Students

It’s almost noon. Rosa* spent all morning washing clothes with the water she collected in the pond. It’s been three weeks since the last time she had running water. She’s tired, but she doesn’t want her three daughters to miss school. Some of her neighbors have stopped taking their children to school because they cannot clean their uniforms.

Maria*, her youngest daughter comes running to her, “Mommy, It’s almost time to go!”  Rosa kisses Maria’s cheeks and helps her put on her uniform. Rosa notices Maria’s cheeks are fuller because she has gained some weight, just as her two older daughters did last semester. A year ago the opposite was true: Rosa was forced to watch her children lose weight because she could not afford enough food. Some experts estimate that the number of food-insecure Venezuelans could be as high as 11 million out of 28,195,168.

Thanks to you, Maria has attended our nutritional and educational project in Caracas since March. Last semester, Maria’s older sisters benefited from the project, and now it’s Maria´s turn. Every Monday to Friday afternoon, Maria receives tutoring classes, lunch, and a snack. Maria is one of 50 children aged five to ten, supported by this project. She always comes back home with a smile on her face.
Children who did not pass their previous grade level are not allowed to re-enter the public school system in Venezuela until they learn what they missed at their previous level and are able to pass to the next grade level. They are not allowed to repeat a grade due to the limited space in Venezuelan public schools.

Children play together better on full stomachs. Photo by Jonathan Lanza.

Our nutrition and education project has taken a heavy burden off Rosa’s shoulders. Life is hard in her community. Public schools in Venezuela run only two days a week and only for a few hours. Rarely is there running water in the community. Due to the economic crisis and hyperinflation, food is more expensive every day. As gas costs become out of reach for most families, public transportation is a luxury. That is why ensuring that Rosa’s daughters have tutoring classes five days a week and nutritional meals in an institution near her home makes Rosa feel relieved. She has seen how their reading and writing have improved, how they look healthier, and even how they get along better.

Our community of peacebuilders hold workshops to support parents. Photo by Jonathan Lanza.

Your support extends to parents too. Rosa is a current attendee in the parenting workshops organized by our partners. In the last meeting, she talked about how she feels that the workshops have helped her deal more effectively with challenges in her home. She feels calmer and more patient. When asked how we could improve this project, Rosa simply said, “I only wish it lasted longer.”

We do too. And with your support, perhaps we’ll be able to extend this project until all of Caracas’s children can rejoin Venezuela’s public education system with full stomachs, and economic devastation no longer drives Venezuelans from their homes in order to survive. Donate now to support Venezuelan moms and children so they can thrive. Sign up for our newsletter to see how your generosity is changing lives. Share this post so our Venezuelan friends are not forgotten. 

*Not their real names.