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United Families Make Fruitful Fields: How AVSI makes refugees “protagonists” of their own development in Uganda

At AVSI we say that we want to make people “protagonists” of their own development. Here I saw a real example. These people, with all of their intersecting vulnerabilities, anxieties, scars and poverties, found a place where they could come together and be seen. This relationship, offered in a peaceful place, unlocked their learning potential. They were empowered to reconsider their preconceptions, and not to stop at reconsidering, but to actually apply their learning to their own families and relationships.

We Are All Migrants

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.

Sports as an inspiration for young adults with disability

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.

Ecuadorian and Venezuelan Women Emerge as Key Leaders in their Communities

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.

US Ambassador to Ecuador visits AVSI’s “Integrados” project

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.

AVSI Ecuador Featured Presenter in PRM Workshop

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.

In Mexico, with 500 migrants to restore dignity and foster social inclusion

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.