VENEZUELA—In late 2016 CGR assessed opportunities to partner in Venezuela as the country continues to experience a humanitarian crisis. Necessities such as nutritious food, hygiene supplies, and medicine are in short supply. If people do find food or supplies, they must pay 3-4 times more than the market value, which is extremely difficult.
Canadian volunteers have connected with a local organization called Iglesia Bautista El Calvario that is working with children from poor families to help provide meals and do activities with them every Saturday. Families of these children are assisted where possible, and essentials such as soap, toilet paper, rice, milk and eggs are being provided.
Iglesia Bautista El Calvario (Calvary Baptist Church) in the city of Ciudad Ojeda, Zulia, Venezuela started a Kids Ministry in 2013 focusing on helping children in the community suffering from the hardships faced by people living in Venezuela. The ministry consists of having children gather on Sundays for teaching and activities and the third Saturday of every month a group of volunteers meets with the kids in the community in a nearby basketball court to play games and participate in different activities.
Due to the situation in the country where food is not accessible, volunteers have decided to provide a snack or meal during each of these activities. A pasta meal with meat sauce, a drink and bread is an example we’ve provided, or a breakfast with bread and eggs with ham, and fruit with juice. As of today, there are 65 kids every Sunday who are provided with breakfast, and 55 kids every third Saturday of the month who are provided with a snack or small meal.
Besides the meals, kids have a chance to learn and play with other kids from the community. Some of the activities they enjoy are stories, crafts, games and face painting among other things. Parents are able to get involved with the volunteers and become part of a community that helps each other.
Being able to provide one meal to a child in a society where most kids are going to school without breakfast or only have access to one meal per day is amazing!
A donation of $30 can cover the cost of a meal for each event, which provides a nutritious meal for 60-70 children and 10 volunteers. As the group meets weekly, would you consider sponsoring one of their events?
We’ll continue updating you about our Venezuelan initiative, and my project co-director and friend Judy Senior will share her story and involvement in working with the children.