During the second quarter of the year, the political landscape in Venezuela continues to be very uncertain but some international aid agencies have started operations. On the other hand, Healing Venezuela has had a very successful quarter. We have volunteers in France and in the US and have included 5 more health centres in Venezuela that we support directly apart from those we support through our partners. We were delighted to have been chosen by Charity Clarity, a charity due diligence platform, as “Start-up of the Year”. We were even on a billboard in one of the most popular roundabouts in London! The charity continues to be run 100% by volunteers but we have now an 8-hours-per-week assistant who manages the complicated business of collection and distribution of medical supplies. Below, more details of what we achieved during this past quarter. A big GRACIAS to our volunteers, donors and, especially, our heroic partners in Venezuela who made this possible.
During Q2 2019, we shipped to Venezuela 993kg of medical supplies collected from health centres in France, Spain and the UK. We sent 200 Intra Uterine Devices with the instrument to apply them to prevent pregnancy in teenagers and adults. We also donated 300 HIV, Syphilis and pregnancy tests and 200 menstrual cups. We repaired two critical equipment in the Gastroenterology section of the Lidice Hospital in Caracas and we sponsored 32 high-spec cancer and 14 diabetes tests. We funded a medical campaign in the Orinoco Delta, one of the most inaccessible areas of the country during which doctors, dentists and medical students attended more than 600 patients.
390 people in state schools benefited from these programmes and for the first time, we delivered the course outside Caracas in the Altagracia de Orituco Hospital. We hope we will be able to reach much more people in other areas of the country. Because Venezuelans in the UK also suffer significant levels of stress, we organised four free stress management programmes in London. The experience was extremely positive. We could spread the word about what we do as well as supporting Venezuelans in the UK.
During 2Q 2019, we continued to support Junior Doctors post-graduate degrees in four universities: two in Caracas, one in Los Andes and one in Zulia state. We have increased by 10 the number of beneficiaries and also our monthly contribution so we now have 110 students to whom our €12 per month for food and transport are making a huge difference.
UNICEF, CARITAS and other aid agencies have raised the alert on malnutrition in children in Venezuela and we couldn’t be indifferent to this reality which impacts particularly low-income population. We have partnered with an NGO “Pabellon con Arepa” with an impressive track-record of feeding children in schools in the most deprived areas of Caracas. We have “adopted” 55 nursery school children and for $10 per month, we can provide them breakfast and lunch. The positive knock-down effect is the increase in school attendance. Mothers who couldn’t afford to send their children to school, now have an incentive to do so to guarantee at least 2 meals a day. Their smiley faces say it all! We hope to expand our programme to other schools both in Caracas and in remote areas of the country.
The Asian Voices Award is a yearly occasion when charities in the UK and around the world are tested on 18 different criteria mainly focussed on governance, transparency and impact. We were delighted when we heard we were shortlisted. Then, on Friday the 17th of May, in a ballroom surrounded by admirable charity workers, Sadiq Khan -Mayor of London- members of the House of Lords, MPs and prominent business people, we couldn’t believe when the words: “...and the winner is...Healing Venezuela!” were announced! A big THANK YOU to the vibrant community of volunteers, friends and donors of Healing Venezuela! We dedicated the prize to the devoted and incredibly brave people we work with in Venezuela who day to day have to face unbelievable challenges to alleviate the suffering of our fellow citizens.
We continue to be humbled by the support we keep receiving. Just to name a few: an online art auction in the US, a colourful Zumba lesson, a Karaoke event, Children Sport Days, donations of mugs, tote bags and t-shirts to sell. Every donor, large and small made a significant difference to many people's lives. There are so many people to thank and we try to do it one by one, so if you haven't received an email or a message for your donation, please be patient. We will contact you soon. Thank you all for your support!
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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