It's difficult to grasp the scale of the change we have been going through in the last few months.
Our thoughts are with those who are suffering, with the brave medical staff facing COVID19 worldwide and, especially, with the most fragile: people in refugees camps and in countries at war or where the health system is non-existent or has collapsed. One of those countries is Venezuela.
Quoting the FT: "Few countries are in a worse position to deal with Covid-19 than Venezuela. It was already reeling from US sanctions amid a worsening economic and social crisis and has now been hit by lower oil prices which have slashed what is virtually its only legal source of revenue."
In one way or another, Venezuelans have been in lockdown over the last few years. This new challenge will test yet again an impoverished and defenceless population.
At Healing Venezuela, we will continue to help in every possible way. At the moment we are focusing on paying scholarships to junior doctors, providing basic protective equipment for medical staff and delivering stress management programmes. We can afford to continue with these projects because we have built a very strong cash reserves position.
We will take COVID19 as an opportunity to pause and reorganise, but we are already working on really exciting plans which will materialise later in the year.
Below you'll see what we have achieved during the first quarter of2020.
Before shipping to the country stopped, we were able to send 138 kg of medical supplies distributed mainly in the central region (Aragua, Carabobo, Yaracuy, Tachira and Lara). We have commissioned the distribution of basic protective equipment (masks, gloves, sanitisers) to the hospitals designated to treat COVID19.
Up until mid-March, we could continue with our malnutrition prevention programmes in Caracas and Sucre. For just $12 per month per child, we were providing breakfast and lunch to 200 children in 2 schools in a poor area of Caracas and are mote village in Sucre State. We hope to re-start very soon.
In Q1, we have trained 764 people in stress management techniques in schools, NGOs and hospitals. We are delivering on-line meditations and breathing techniques four times per week via Facebook and Instagram available to Spanish speaking people around the world.
Since 2018, we have been granting a small scholarship to 111 doctors in different hospitals in Venezuela. This is a programme we will continue to sponsor as we can expect the burden on the public health sector will only increase and junior doctors will be at the forefront of the crisis.
We donated 51 high-spec tests for patients with very serious conditions such as cancer, HIV and organ transplants. Half of those patients were children, the youngest was 1 month old. We have paused this programme for now, but we expect to start again as soon as conditions on the ground improve.
During Q1, we paid for the repair of a colonoscopy camera at Lidice Hospital in Caracas, one of the few state hospitals still performing surgeries and diagnostics of colon diseases.
We sponsored a medical campaign in a remote and magic allocation, Wonken, in Bolivar State. A group of medical students, dentists and engineers went there for a week to provide basic medical care. These campaigns allow us to reach thousands of people who otherwise wouldn't have access to free health.
We are working on an initiative, Buy Venezuelan, an online listing of goods and services offered by Venezuelans in England which will allow us to raise funds and at the same time to give visibility to Venezuelan small businesses.
We were invited to Queen Mary and Oxford University to discuss the health crisis in Venezuela.We held two online conferences about COVID19, one related to Mental Health and one about the key facts on COVID19. Also, during our stress management sessions, we raise awareness of the importance of mental health.
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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.
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.
2019 was a fantastic year at Healing Venezuela with income growth of 40% and a corresponding increase in the support we can give to Venezuela. As ever, we are truly grateful for the generosity of our donors.
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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