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.
In the meantime, we keep receiving desperate requests for help and it´s very hard for us to say no. We have decided to hire a part-time doctor in Venezuela: Andrés Ortiz will help us with the follow-up and monitoring of the projects. Dr Ortiz has proven to be a great ally by being our eyes on the ground.
This quarter we have started two new programmes. We often wonder if we shouldn´t focus on fewer projects. After all, we are a small charity, run by volunteers. Again, though, it´s hard to say no. In Venezuela, money goes a long way, which means we can reach more people even if at times we are overstretched. We also think that by diversifying our support, we reduce risks. Helping hospitals, health centres and NGOs in Venezuela is crucial for the future recovery of the health sector, and we want to add our grain of sand to the reconstruction of the country.
During the third quarter, we sent 800kg (of a total of 2,600kg in 2018) of medical supplies donated by GPs and hospitals in the UK. In partnership with a Spanish NGO, Ven Da Tu Mano, we have also had access to medicines. Our geographical coverage has expanded and we are now sending much needed help to: Distrito Capital, Vargas, Lara, Zulia, Merida, Apure, Táchira, Miranda, Nueva Esparta and Guárico states.
During this past quarter, we´ve trained over 300 people from all age groups and walks of life in stress management, meditation and breathing techniques. Since we started supporting the Venezuelan branch of The Art of Living, an international NGO, we have delivered these programmes to more than 1000 people.
During 2018, we have been working with ALAPLAF, a very successful NGO in Lara State to prevent teenage pregnancy. One of our beneficiaries is a 15 years-old girl with two children. The word spread around and now, not only Lara State and not only teenagers are asking for help. During the third quarter, we ramped up our support and sent 338 coils. We are also sending testing kits for HIV, Syphilis and pregnancy.
During the third quarter, we started working with Ven Da Tu Manoand Medicos por Venezuela, two Venezuelan overseas-based NGOs, to support postgraduate medical students. We started in July with a pilot for forty, and it has proved to be so successful that we are now supporting one hundred!
Malnutrition is an everyday tragedy in Venezuela and the most affected are the very young and very old. We have partnered with an international NGO, Aid For Aids, to support their “Salva Bebés” programme. We are supplying baby formula for one hundred babies, some them of them orphans
We are humbled by the support we keep receiving from people both inside and outside the UK. We had some amazing events, such as the Chocolate and Rum Festival sponsored by Ron Diplomatico. We also had runners, swimmers and hikers, street-food charity boxes collectors, as well as people who wanted their birthday present to be donations to Healing Venezuela. There too many of you to mention, but we know who you are. Thank you all for your support, and please keep Venezuela in your thoughts and hearts.
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.
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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