In Boa Vista, AVSI Brasil opens a multipurpose space to assist Venezuelan refugees and migrants and celebrates AVSI 50 anniversary.
Since 2016, more than 6 million people have fled Venezuela. About 5 million of them have found refuge in other countries of Latin America. The country’s oppressive political climate and worsening economic conditions has made the Venezuelan crisis one of the largest migration events in modern history.
Amid the crisis, AVSI has stepped up its work with refugees and migrants in the region, leveraging the little money available to create pathways for long-term integration and development for Venezuelans in host countries. Through the project Integrados, funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, AVSI provides legal protection, housing, and livelihoods assistance for Venezuelan refugees and migrants in three regions of Ecuador: Pichincha, Manabi, and El Oro.
What do Paralympics athletes Becca Meyers, Michael Roeger, and Ambra Sabatini have in common with Congolese refugees Bruno Kyasiimire and Habamungu Kahunda? They never let their disability stop them from achieving their dreams. Born with only one arm and one leg due to a congenital limb defect, Bruno, who lives in the Rwamwanja Refugee Settlement in Uganda, had to deal with mobility challenges and prejudice, even among his peers, since he was young.
At first glance, the two sewing machines on Gina’s front porch look ordinary. They sit on a modest wooden table surrounded by plastics bags of fabric, dresses and t-shirts hanging from racks. The house where Gina, her children, and her sewing machines live is in the middle of El Floron 4 – one of the roughest neighborhoods of Portoviejo, Ecuador. Gina’s setup may be modest, but together with an upstart group of seamstresses, she is doing something extraordinary.
On June 16th, AVSI Ecuador received a very special visit from Michael Fitzpatrick, the US Ambassador to Ecuador. Ambassador Fitzpatrick visited a multifamily housing unit, where AVSI has intervened with structural adjustments to guarantee a dignified living situation for the seven Venezuelan families who live there.
The activities in multifamily housing units are part of the larger “Integrados” project, funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). “Integrados” seeks to incorporate Venezuelans into Ecuadorian society through dignified shelter, access to social and legal services, and opportunities to generate income.
On Thursday, June 10, AVSI’s “Integrados” Project Manager Estefania Gomez was a featured presenter in a workshop held jointly by the Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) and researchers from Pennsylvania State University.
After months fighting starvation, cold, family separation, and sexual harassment, Marvelis’ family enjoys a peaceful and safe house, thanks to the PRM-funded Project “Integrados”
Every morning, Pamela followed the same routine. She would wake up early in the morning to prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner for her two children. But, like many other women in her community, the Kamwenge refugee settlement in Uganda, she didn’t have the basic skills to prepare healthy meals.
Born in Honduras, 17-year-old Ricardo left for the United States alone in search of the American Dream. After riding across Mexico on a train known as “The Beast” and escaping from the immigration police while trying to cross the border to the United States, Ricardo finally found the FM4 Paso Libre shelter, in the state of Jalisco. There, he was able to apply for a permit to be recognized as a refugee in Mexico.
A year ago, Jon and Alberto could not afford to put food on the table and decided to cross the border with Brazil with wives and children. Now, thanks to AVSI, they work for a beverage company in Salvador, Bahia. Jon and Alberto were the first beneficiaries of the project Welcomed Through Work, now funded by U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).