We hope that this edition of our quarterly newsletter finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. These have been very challenging times, to say the least, and, like everything else, our operations have been significantly affected. We have taken the opportunity to review our projects and to identify better ways to execute them. The situation in Venezuela changes continually, and although COVID19 has only worsened the humanitarian crisis, some of the largest aid agencies are now allowed to operate in Venezuela. Also, it's now possible to find medical supplies in the country which means we can focus on health issues and health centres that are not benefiting from international aid.
Healing Venezuela has provided basic PPE to hospitals and institutions designated by the government to treat COVID19 patients. Kits with masks, gloves, surface disinfectants and hand sanitisers were delivered to 19 health centres.
After a pilot project with several local vendors, it became clear that it was more convenient for us to purchase medical supplies in Venezuela rather than ship them from Europe. The new scheme is also greener and more cost-effective and allows us to choose the supplies based on each health centre's needs. The first consignments were sent at the beginning of June and all have arrived.
After Yemen, DRC Congo and Afghanistan, Venezuela is regarded as the country with the 4th highest risk of facing a food crisis. Children are particularly vulnerable. This is why, by mid-April, we resumed the food programmes. Meals are prepared in the schools' kitchens and then collected by parents. Children in remote areas of Venezuela thanked us by celebrating with the British and Venezuelan flags.
The pandemic has undoubtedly had a serious impact on mental health, especially for the less privileged. Apart from offering daily online meditations, we organised other events in Britain - Venezuelan storytelling for children, economists talking about how to survive the crisis and coaches explaining how to bounce back after the lockdown. These sessions were in Spanish and at a time when people in Venezuela and Europe could all login.
As junior doctors are at the forefront of medical care in state hospitals in Venezuela, they have been exceptionally busy during the lockdown. Currently, we are sponsoring 111 junior doctors in 5 different hospitals in Venezuela, but we keep receiving requests for more sponsorships. We hope we will be able to offer those in the near future.
Our registry of Venezuelan goods and services in England is now up and running on our website and we have held 2 successful virtual pop-ups. We have more than 30 associates, from makers of delicious cakes to psychologists. Apart from the annual subscription they pay to be on our listing, these small vendors are helping to disseminate our work through their social media. Supporting them, we are supporting indirectly more people in Venezuela.
How we did it
We were very lucky that despite the extreme circumstances, we could count on the generosity and enthusiasm of so many people. We could raise funds through our GivingTuesday campaign, wardrobe sales, staging an online Zumbathon and selling our own merchandise. We were also very privileged to receive important donations from the LATA Foundation and individual donors. To all of you THANK YOU, and please, keep supporting us.
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.
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.
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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