While en route to Peru in order to flee one of the worst humanitarian crisis in Latin America & the Caribbean, Maria, a 7-year-old girl, exclaimed “how can I go to my school now!”
While schools in Peru are generally well-resourced, the influx of refugees and migrant from Venezuela is overstretching the capacity of the Peruvian education system to accommodate learners and provide them with quality education services; with children & youth, facing continued xenophobia and discrimination, particularly girls, whomare at greater risk of gender-based violence, sexual exploitation and human trafficking. According to the Metropolitan Lima Regional Education Office, approximately 30 percent (estimated 20,050) were served by educational services in the last school year,mostly in Lima and are expecting an increase in enrollment of Venezuelan learners when the new school year starts.
In a coordinated response to the Venezuela regional crisis, Education Cannot Wait announced a US$7million allocation to support first emergency response grants in Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
RET as ECW grantee for Peru will work to increase the opportunities of out-of-school Venezuelan migrant, refugee and host community children and adolescents to access the Peruvian education system in 2020 in 2 Southern districts of Metropolitan Lima and will be responsible for funds management and overall coordination of project activities of the three sub-grantees (UNESCO, UNICEF, Plan International). Additionally, RET will be working closely with the Ministry of Education officials, local authorities and civil society organizations, including Venezuelan organizations
Specifically, this project will reinforce the capacities of the Peruvian education authorities to address the timely and durable inclusion of out-of-school migrant, refugee and host community children and adolescents by the improvement of services that guarantee the access, retention and completion of education.
In addition, RET will be providing to out of school children and adolescents access to non-formal education programs to develop their competencies and skills, increase their self-esteem and help them access the formal education system. This program will be designed using approaches to advance inclusion, diversity, gender equality, and equal opportunities. We plan the non-formal education program to be also implemented in other areas of Lima as well and/or other major cities in Peru presenting a high rate of migrant and refugee children and adolescents. Finally, RET will be working to strengthening local communities’ capacities to protectout-of-school migrant, refugee and host community children and adolescents, to increasing integration and mitigatingxenophobia and discrimination.
In addition to Peru, under UNICEF leadership, RET has been chosen, amongst other international and national partners, to implement the ECW response to the Venezuelan crisis in Ecuador. Details on this partnership are under discussion at country level.
RET is working tirelessly in the Americas more specifically in Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, and around the world to alleviate suffering and catalyze sustainable development in crises, conflicts and fragile contexts. With a presence in 31 countries, RET has helped more than 1.6 million direct beneficiaries and touched the life of more than 8 million indirect beneficiaries.
Approximately 4 million refugees, migrants and asylum seekers fled the violence, poverty and food and medicine shortages in Venezuela since 2015. The situation in the country generated a very important migratory flows. According to UNHCR, the vast majority of Venezuelan refugees have found asylum predominantly in neighboring Colombia (1.3m) Peru (800,000) and Ecuador (263,000). Peru an already vulnerable state is the main host country for Venezuelan people in need of international protection with 280,000 people, of whom have applied for refugee status, and the second destination for Venezuelan refugees and migrants worldwide.