The Venezuela crisis has caused about 3.4 million people to flee the country, seeking food, work, and a better life. While the influx from Venezuela has caused tensions in host countries, it also has brought out their hospitable spirit. Still, needs among families in transition are great. And forecasts for 2019 show the number of displaced people may increase to more than 5.4 million. World Vision staff in neighboring countries are helping refugees.
Why World Vision is in Colombia
In 2018, Colombians voted in a new president, their youngest ever. And by the end of the year, more than a million Venezuelan migrants were living in the country, often in regions already marked by violence and a lack of health services. Problems that affect the most vulnerable are on the rise. In 2018, record numbers of violence and abuse against children were reported. Malnutrition rates are rising, as are reports of domestic or sexual violence against women. Diseases that were once nearly eradicated are spreading because of the migrant influx. Despite these setbacks, overall levels of extreme poverty are steadily falling in Colombia. With the generosity of partners and donors, our staff worked to love and care for the most vulnerable people. Our Hope Without Borders program is supporting Venezuelan migrants by working with families, especially children and adolescents, to provide education, food, jobs, child protection, and health care. Community health workers are running immunization campaigns to prevent diseases spreading, and Child-Friendly Spaces and schools are giving displaced kids safe and stable places to learn and play. After years of effort, the country’s government is partnering with us and others in a national campaign to end violence against children. By training community leaders, mothers, and teachers about how to protect children, we’re helping empower more people to nurture and love children in the ways they deserve.
We never give up on people
World Vision child sponsorship looks at all the things that prevent children from surviving and thriving in their community, and then works with that community to bring all the pieces of the puzzle together to build a better life for all children. For sponsors, it’s a personal way to show God’s love to a child in need in a life-changing way.
Progress in Colombia
Thanks to the generous support of donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families.
Child Protection and Care
Boys and girls are safe and valued, well cared for by their families, and participating in their communities as agents of transformation.
- In Colombia, more children are empowered to promote peace and children’s rights in their communities. At a national peace building event, children learned leadership and conflict resolution skills, and leaders and young people learned how to protect and promote child well-being.
Healthy Children and Families
Children and families are well nourished, protected from infection and disease, and have access to essential health services.
- Children in Colombia are protected from diseases through working with partners and the government to vaccinate children against common illnesses.
- Parents in Colombia learned about proper nutrition and good sanitation practices. They also learned how to prevent diseases, such as Dengue fever, Zika virus, diarrhea and respiratory illnesses.
Education for Better Lives
Children have opportunities to learn and to develop their talents, young people are equipped for the future, and families and communities support children's education.
- Parents in Colombia learned about the value of education. Parents are then able to encourage their children to stay in school and help those who have dropped out to re-enroll.
- A literacy program in Colombia partners with parents and teachers so that students are supported at school, at home, and through after-school clubs to improve their reading and writing.
Prayer Requests from Colombia
World Vision's staff in Colombia are asking us to join them in prayer for the following:
God’s healing will come to children who have experienced abuse, and families and the government will take action to stop the rising violence against innocent children.
God will provide abundantly for children who are malnourished, that their families will be able to get healthy food for them to grow up strong.
News from Colombia
The mosquito-borne Zika virus can cause microcephaly and other serious birth defects. Though the disease has faded from the news since its most recent outbreak in 2015, Zika remains a risk in dozens of countries and territories in the Americas. Learn facts about Zika, the latest outbreak, and future threats.
Please pray with us for World Vision’s work in South America — Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Brazil. While many of these countries are still recovering from years of internal violence and political instability, each faces unique challenges today.
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