We hope you had a happy holiday season and we take the opportunity to wish you a very healthy and successful 2020. Last year was a fantastic year at Healing Venezuela with income growth of 40% and a corresponding increase in the support we can give to Venezuela. The charity continues to be run entirely by enthusiastic volunteers always ready to lead our activities and fundraising efforts. As ever, we are truly grateful for the generosity of our donors. Without their contribution, we wouldn´t have achieved what this report describes.
In total in 2019, we shipped to Venezuela 3.3 tons of medical supplies collected from the UK, France and Italy health services. We have established a network of health centres across different states working with doctors we trust who distribute the supplies to those who need them most.
Unplanned pregnancies prevent women to participate in the labour market allowing the extreme-poverty cycle to be perpetuated. Also, pregnancy death has skyrocketed in Venezuela. In 2019 we kept supporting the pregnancy planning and awareness programme shipping more than 800 t-coils, 1,500 pregnancy, syphilis and HIV quick tests.
Mental health is a huge problem in Venezuela. This is why, in 2019, we have trained 1,610 people in stress management techniques in schools, NGOs and hospitals. We also helped in the training of 14 psychologists who provide free support to people in distress.
People living in remote areas in Venezuela are more vulnerable to the health crisis. This is why in 2019 we sponsored two basic-health programmes, one in the Orinoco Delta and one in Maniapure, Bolivar State. They involved doctors providing the building blocks of good health (dental checks, eye tests, nutrition advice, hygiene) to more than 1,400 patients.
As conditions worsen and experienced medical staff leave the country, junior doctors are at the forefront of medical care in state hospitals. To encourage young professionals to continue with their careers, we sponsored 110 doctors in 4 different universities in Venezuela. For just $15 per month, we help them to pay for their living expenses.
One of the most efficient ways to support healthcare in Venezuela is to repair equipment. In 2019, we repaired two gastroenterology units at the Lidice Hospital, one echocardiogram in Central University Hospital and donated 4 surgical saws to the Children Orthopaedic Hospital. More than 3000 people benefited from these improvements.
We continued to sponsor high-spec tests for low-income patients with very serious conditions such as cancer, diabetes, HIV and organ transplants. Of the 117 people we were able to help, the oldest was 82 and the youngest 2 years old.
There have been several fatalities, mainly among children, because of the poor quality of water in hospitals in Venezuela. In 2019, we installed two water treatment plants: in Vargas Hospital, one of the largest in Venezuela, and the other in the maternal-infant hospital at Caricuao. On an annual basis, these plants provide potable water for drinking and cooking to more than 30,000 people.
Part of our work is to raise awareness of the Venezuelan health crisis. In 2019 we were invited to attend a select committee at the House of Commons. We joined forces with Amnesty International in the screening of a movie: Está todo bien. We gave talks at several universities and companies and were present at the Festival des Solidarités internationales in Lyon.
2019 was an exceptional year. Thanks to a kind donor, we started with a billboard poster on one of the busiest roundabouts in London. In May, we were voted Start-up Charity of the Year. We opened a branch in France and we are now operating in 19 states of Venezuela! 2020 is a year of consolidation. We have a solid portfolio of projects which we will develop further.
All we did was thanks to our supporters and our extraordinary partners on the ground: ALAPLAF, Guerreros Azules, Fundavida, Arte de Vivir and CUMIS, amongst others. Thanks also to doctor Andres Ortiz and Alejandra Farina who are our eyes and ears on the ground. From weddings to long walks, we fundraised in every possible way. Please keep supporting us!
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The challenges of the pandemic around the world continue and have only made things worse in Venezuela. Of the total deaths there, 33% are health professionals. Malnutrition has also worsened in the country. Because of this, during Q3 we mainly focussed on delivering PPE to health centres and on continuing and expanding our food programmes.
These have been very challenging times and our operations have been significantly affected. We have taken the opportunity to review our projects and to identify better ways to execute them.
The peak of the Covid-19 in Venezuela could take place between June and September 2020, according to a study recently published by the Venezuelan Academy of Physical, Mathematical and Natural Sciences.
It's difficult to grasp the scale of the change we have been going through in the last few months. The new challenge imposed by Covid-19 will test yet again the impoverished and defenceless Venezuelan population.
On February 26th at the Virgin Money Haymarket Lounge in London we had our Annual General Meeting where we discussed our results for 2019 and our goals for 2020.
During the summer Healing Venezuela continued working and have some good news to share. Read the summary of what we have achieved thanks to your support.
Healing Venezuela interim financial accounts for the first half of 2019
Although the political conditions in Venezuela continue to be uncertain, we’ve had a very successful quarter thanks mostly to our donors and our Venezuelan partners.
The news from Venezuela is bad and not getting any better. Refugees have overwhelmed the region's neighbours, blackouts have produced more disruptions and deaths, and the political scene -which seemed clearer at the beginning of the year- is as confusing as ever.
On the 15th of January at the Royal College of Surgeons in London we had our AGM where we presented 2018 results. It was a very exciting opportunity to meet old and new friends and to share with them our achievements and the challenges we face in 2019 both in Venezuela and in the UK.
At the end of a very successful year at Healing Venezuela, we are humbled by all the support and solidarity we have received from so many of you. Too many to mention in a short email.
At the end of the third quarter, Venezuela continues its downward spiral, but international pressure is mounting and the Government is starting to show some signs of openness to foreign aid. As always, we hope that the country will recover soon.
As you might have read in the press and social media, at the end of the second quarter of 2018, the news from Venezuela is alarming. Our families and friends there are struggling to cope with the crisis and the less fortunate are facing the worse humanitarian crisis that our country has ever had. We, at Healing Venezuela, are determined to make a difference and here is a summary of what we have achieved to in the second quarter of 2018.
We had a successful first quarter, both from a fundraising point of view and because we achieved our objectives.
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