Compassion Canada to direct urgent relief to humanitarian crisis in Venezuela
Funds raised on Giving Tuesday will provide urgent needs of food, medicine and sanitation to children and families
Venezuelan teenager Jesús was faced with this terrible question a few months ago when his family was forced to escape their neighbourhood. Recounting that night when a gang entered his street with guns and killed the woman next door, Jesús says, "We had to go through the forest and cross the river because the regular border crossing was closed."
In a matter of hours, the lives of Jesús and his family were thrown into despair. They left Venezuela with the clothes on their backs. "Everything was chaos," says Jesús, who left with his younger brothers, mother and stepfather.
Thankfully, they were assisted by members of a local church that partners with Compassion Canada when they arrived in Colombia. At the Compassion centre, the family received food, medical assistance and were protected from violence and abuse that migrant families are vulnerable to. The tangible love of Jesus that the church showed changed their story of despair into a story of hope.
"The love and support provided by our local church partners in the border city of Cucuta, Colombia is helping to meet the physical, relational, and spiritual needs of children and families who desperately need it," notes Allison Alley, President and CEO of Compassion Canada. "They are doing all they can to take in and care for these refugees, but their resources are running thin, so we're asking Canadians to help."
On December 3, which is Giving Tuesday–a global day of giving back–Compassion has set a fundraising goal of $80,000 to help its local partners provide much needed relief and recovery. "Funds raised will go directly to help children and families experiencing the turmoil of displacement on the Venezuela/Colombia border," says Alley.
More than 4.5 million Venezuelan citizens have fled their country due to ongoing humanitarian crisis. Every day, at least 3,000 of these refugees arrive in Cucuta, Colombia, in what the UN describes as the largest exodus in the region's recent history.
About the urgent help his family received from Compassion, Jesús says: "I felt that we were not alone anymore." The aim of Compassion Canada's Giving Tuesday campaign is to migrate despair into hope, delivering care in the same way that Jesús and his family experienced critical support.
Individuals who want to give directly to assist children and families affected by the humanitarian crisis can do so at www.compassion.ca/