Economic and political challenges in Venezuela have led to the collapse of the country, resulting in massive food shortages and virtual shutdowns of public services such as health care and education.
Seeking a better life, over 5 million Venezuelans have fled their country, and 2 million have settled in neighbouring Colombia.
Years of violence has resulted in a cycle of trauma and pain, even after having migrated. The need for trauma healing continues to grow.
Our project in Colombia works with the local church to provide refugee children with nutritious meals and support as their parents search for work and attempt to provide for their family in Colombia.
Emotional and spiritual support is being provided to women and girls through the local church so that they can begin the process of healing together.
Venezuela Refugee Care
Millions of Venezuelan refugees have migrated to Colombia, escaping the disastrous situation in their home country. Many of them live on the outskirts of Barranquilla, Colombia right beside the city garbage dump. Access to food is challenging, with many of them only possessing the personal possessions they could fit in a suitcase.
The garbage dump is not a safe place for children, and the ground is contaminated with toxic chemicals. Makeshift residences are prone to collapse. To survive, many women have turned to prostitution, doing anything they can to provide for their children at home.
Partnering with local churches, we provided 600 children with daily meals. Church volunteers also played fun activities with the children and provided loving care as their parents established new lives. Additionally, this project helped families navigate the legal system to apply for refugee status and start the process of residency. They also helped to secure medical assistance for refugees who require it.
- Location: Barranquilla, Colombia
- Timeframe: 2019-2020
- Total Project Budget: $150,000
With the help of your donations, over 600 Venezuelan refugee children now have daily, nutritious meals. Families are being shown the love of God through the local church and coming to know Him. They received help navigating Colombia’s immigration system as they continue their journey to rebuild their lives.
Restoring Hope: Trauma Healing for Venezuelan Refugees
Millions of Venezuelan refugees have migrated to Colombia in order to escape the disastrous situation in their home country. Years of violence has resulted in a growing need for trauma healing.
The life of a refugee is challenging. Women and children are vulnerable and often become victims of violence and sexual abuse. Some are forced into prostitution to feed children. Even after settling in a new place, without any support, they can feel trapped in a cycle of trauma and pain, and struggle to believe that God can heal.
In addition to current programming, psychological support will be provided to victims. Male pastors will be trained on advocacy in regard to sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) issues. Female church and community leaders will be trained as Trauma Healing Facilitators. The facilitators will start groups for female survivors so that women can share the deep wounds of hidden pain with others and begin the healing journey together.
- Location: Cartagena, Barranquilla, Bogota, Bucaramanga, Cucuta and Monteria
- Timeframe: September 2020 – August 2021
- Budget: $36,400
Hope will be restored as church leaders tackle the root causes of SGBV and share messages of hope and healing with their churches and communities. A movement of Venezuelan women and girls who have experienced SGBV will have access to emotional and spiritual support through trauma healing groups at the local church.