Our Success in
Started Working in Venezuela
Direct Beneficiaries & Program Participants
(Women & Girls)
Indirect Beneficiaries & Program Participants
Since 2012, RET has directly supported more than 254 K direct beneficiaries in Venezuela, 57% of them are vulnerable women, and indirectly benefited more than 2 million beneficiaries throughout 20 projects focused on Protection, Education, Self-reliance & Livelihoods ( including Business Development & Entrepreneurship Support), Food security and Agriculture, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene ( WASH), Health, and Infrastructure and Equipment.
Since 2012, RET’s operations were focused in Bolívar, Mérida, Táchira, Trujillo and Zulia, Caracas, San Cristóbal and Maracaibo, and in the municipalities of Sucre, Maracaibo, San Francisco, Carraciolo Parra and Olmedo, Tulio Febres Cordero, Bishop Ramos de Lora, San Cristóbal, Seboruco, García de Hevia, Jáuregui, Cárdenas, Uribante, Bolívar, Sucre and La Ceiba.
RET began its activities in Venezuela in 2012, as part of a regional program to support both Colombian refugees and the local host communities in neighboring countries. RET established its operation in Táchira and Zulia’s states and expanded its operations to Bolívar, Mérida, and Trujillo with a vision to support both the host and refugee communities especially Columbian asylum seekers in need of international protection. RET opened national and field offices in Caracas, San Cristóbal, and Maracaibo.
Since the beginning of its operations, RET developed programs to strengthen formal and non-formal educational opportunities, provide employment guidance, livelihoods, and programs for youth, and was involved in violence prevention. Despite the critical situation it is currently facing, Venezuela is still a host country for Colombian victims of armed conflict.
During the fiscal year 2016, RET implemented a national program entitled “Refugee Families Integrated and Resilient in Venezuela.” The program’s implementation responded to the needs identified in the participatory assessments RET carried out and in which the voice of the people in need of international protection was taken into consideration. RET gained the trust and respect of the participating population. The intervention areas were humanitarian assistance, protection mechanisms, livelihoods, sociocultural integration, institutional strengthening, and coordination with emerging socio-political organizations such as Townships (Comunas).
RET implemented programs to strengthen the community by providing protection spaces for children and young people, where they are empowered through capacity building training and leadership skills. The project reduced the protection risks linked to forced child recruitment due to family economic instability. It promoted access and retention to vulnerable students on the verge of dropping out of schools.
In 2019, RET continued its operations in Venezuela, responding to vulnerable people’s challenging living conditions and assisting them with international protection and multi-sectoral humanitarian interventions. RET implemented a multi-sectoral and comprehensive response to address the population’s essential needs in the States of Mérida, Zulia, Táchira, Bolivar, Trujillo, considered among the most vulnerable regions in the country due to the scarcity of basic goods, poverty, malnourishment, lack of safe water and deficiency in health services. The project addressed several strategies of the goals from the 2030 “Agenda for Sustainable Development” in a multi-sectoral response through the prioritization of sectors corresponding to:
Food Security and Nutrition (SDG 2) “Agriculture & Food Security”; Health (SDG 3) “Provision of Health Services”; Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (SDG 6) “Access to safe water and improvement of hygiene conditions.” This project guaranteed the complementary nature of actions planned for the three sectors and the interdependence between them, providing the required comprehensive approach to achieve better results. Additionally, this program’s technical design followed the national priorities established in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2015-2019 and agreed on by the Government of Venezuela and the United Nations Country Team.
RET worked in partnership with Plan International, Don Bosco Foundation, and HIAS to recover the water supply systems in schools, health & community centers, and facilitated young migrants’ access to the formal education system. RET also improved access to safe water, hygiene, and sanitation through WASH training, emphasizing WASH infrastructure management, hygiene, and cleaning protocols, through the rehabilitation of hygiene and sanitation facilities.
RET developed training in coordination with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), HIAS, the National Commission of Refugees, and the Nacional Experimental del Táchira University.
Joint work with different organizations and institutions was developed with a multi-sectorial approach to respond to the population’s needs and enable social, economic, and cultural integration. The collective work has been fundamental to continue strengthening RET’s presence in the field and having regular and safe access to vulnerable communities.
At a public level, actions were coordinated with the National Refugee Commission to assist persons in need of international protection (PNIP). Integrated health fairs were coordinated with associated health centers from the Ministry of Popular Power for Health Care (in the states of Mérida and Zulia), the Barrio Adentro Healthcare System, the Azul Positivo Civil Association, and the National Institute of Nutrition.
To ensure the sustainability of the “Community Gardens” strategy, coordination continues with the Training and Innovation to Support the Agricultural Revolution Foundation (CIARA) and the National Agricultural Research Institute (INIA), as well as with organizations associated with the Ministry of Popular Power for Agriculture and Land.
Furthermore, work began with the Misión Ribas Productiva and the National Socialist Training and Education Institute (INCES). This collaboration promotes outputs from the Socio-Cultural Education and Integration Strategies. Actions were also coordinated with the Ministry of Popular Power for Culture, enabling RET’s participation as an exhibitor in the Children’s Pavilion of the 12th International Book Fair in Venezuela (FILVEN). In this setting, the 103 stories were exhibited in the two “A Story to Tell” Festivals and art created by program participants was displayed. Furthermore, partnerships with public agencies from municipal and state-level authorities in the cultural sector have been strengthened, and coordinated actions with the Ombudsman’s Office were consolidated, which is essential to address education for PNIP. Regarding the humanitarian aspect, RET continues its collaborative work with the UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations participating in inter-agency meetings, such as the Education and Livelihood Committees, the Refugee Group, the Legal Committee, and the Long-Lasting Solutions Committee. Joint actions have also been developed with the Red Cross and the Azul Positivo Civil Association (which supports
Finally, work was carried out cooperatively with other humanitarian organizations such as HIAS and the Jesuit Refugee Service, as well as with Universities such as Rafael Urdaneta, the Católica Andrés Bello, and Nacional Experimental del Táchira.
RET’s support to research on the situation of PNIPs in Venezuela, conducted by the Centre for Social Research (CISOR), continued. Coordination meetings were also held with the Pan-American Development Foundation (PADF) to implement joint actions benefiting PNIPs through their partners (UniAndes Civil Association and the Popular Social Action Centre – CESAP).
Humanitarian response in the sectors of Agriculture and Food Security; Nutrition and Food Assistance; and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in two states of Venezuela (2020-2022)
The project will reach more than 6,000 participants in Venezuela, which will benefit from agricultural production support, improved WASH, food security, and nutrition services.
The intervention methodology is gender-focused. It will promote positive change in gender norms, revaluing the role of women in the implementation of family gardens, strengthening their leadership for decision-making related to food production, and empowering women, girls, and adolescents in WASH interventions. The proposed framework contributes to developing public policy for agricultural development and water and sanitation in Venezuela.
Agriculture and Food Safety: participants will receive training in crop protection practices. The agricultural cultivation process will be accompanied by irrigation activities and the implementation of home/school gardens for self-consumption.
Nutrition and Food Assistance: food vouchers and school lunches will be distributed to the most vulnerable population, and activities will be developed to improve eating habits in crisis contexts.
WASH: Home hygiene kits and handwashing kits will be distributed respectively to the families served with hygiene promotion and to children and adolescents who participate in school training. Also, sanitation works and/or water sources will be rehabilitated for use by the beneficiary population in schools and the community. Finally, the established and functioning School Hygiene Clubs and Water Committees will be strengthened.
The project, implemented between October 2020 and October 2022, is funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), the Swiss Embassy, and implemented by RET in two states in Venezuela: Sucre and Bolivar.
School feeding for children under six years of age (2020-2022)
To address food insecurity in the country and, in particular, its impact on the development of preschool children, RET will implement a humanitarian assistance program in Venezuela focused on school feeding for children under six years of age. The project will reach out to more than 4,000 people in Falcon, Venezuela.
RET will distribute dried food baskets monthly to school-enrolled boys and girls and active school personnel through schools while closed as part of COVID-19 safety measures.
A gradual adaptation of the program will be carried out – once the schools reopen. The school infrastructure is evaluated and rehabilitated with the support of WFP (storage spaces, kitchen, etc.), progressively moving from the delivery of baskets from take-home food to the provision of nutritious school meals served in schools accompanied by capacity-building activities and integrated health and nutrition interventions for the community. In addition, the enrollment of boys and girls in initial school will be encouraged, and attendance is retained once the schools open.
The project , implemented between September 2020 and August 2022 (PhaseI & II), is implemented in partnership with the World Food Program and RET in Venezuela.
Promoting empowerment, participation, and community outreach(2021)
The project will reach out to 500 families directly and more than 500,000 people indirectly in Zulia, who will benefit from Food Security & Empowerment through the construction and use of food preservers and solar cookers.
The project’s objective is to identify and develop the capacities of the communities to identify their needs and respond to them, outlining solutions to achieve individual and collective appropriation of the implemented projects. Thus, RET will strengthen community capacities in the use of low-cost resources available at the local level, positioning the population of interest in agents of change and community mobilization.
The people trained will be able to transmit the experience of the process to other members of their family and members of their community. In addition, RET will provide the information and basic technical training on the construction of food preservatives and solar artisanal kitchens and will accompany the process of awareness and training on these alternative means. This objective will be carried out through promotional campaigns in the communities on the benefits of the use of alternative energy such as solar cookers and artisan food preservatives, educational, vocational and technical sessions to community structures on solar cookers and artisan food preservatives, supplies of supplies for the realization of solar stoves and artisan food preservatives to improve access to energy in homes and information sessions given by community structures trained in alternative energy (solar cookers and artisanal food preservatives).
The project, implemented between April 2021 and November 2021, is implemented in partnership with UNHCR and RET in Venezuela,
Humanitarian Assistance Response in the areas of Agriculture and Food Security; Health; and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene, to populations affected by the deepening of the socioeconomic crisis and collapse of basic service in 5 states of Venezuela (2020- 2022)
The project will reach more than 37,000 direct beneficiaries and more than 180,000 indirect beneficiaries in five states of Venezuela. The program strategy emphasizes reinforcing the successful interventions towards beneficiaries’ resilience, mainly around food security and agriculture, while supporting the maintenance of achievements in improving services to facilitate access to water, sanitation, and health.
The goal is to meet the immediate food needs of households directly affected by food insecurity and facilitate their access to agriculture, health, water, sanitation, and hygiene services in the most vulnerable zones of Venezuela. The new phase of the Agriculture and Food Security sector seeks to reinforce the actions carried out in the previous project and guarantee their continuity. As such, food security will be promoted at two levels: family gardens will be supported to complement the family diet. Based on the recent experience, family gardens will be developed and/or strengthened in the project’s localities. Targeted households will receive certified seeds for growing their gardens and collecting seeds from their crops for future agricultural cycles. The use of low-cost irrigation systems, bio preparations, and biofertilizers will be promoted and supported through technical assistance and the delivery of agricultural inputs and farming tools to mitigate the gap in access to agricultural supplies.
Beneficiaries will also be supported to adopt techniques to overcome electricity outages, reduce fuel consumption, and depend on renewable energy sources (solar cookers and artisanal fridges). It is foreseen that the size of the family gardens and the type of crops that will be harvested will provide a good and fast source of foods that will support diet diversity.
The project will implement essential complementary activities to promote healthy food habits . These activities will include promoting good feeding practices for infants, young children, and pregnant women, as well as promoting food safety and intelligent food choices in the face of economic uncertainty.
The response in the health sector is vital for mitigating the short-and medium-term impacts of the crisis on the increasing spread of infectious diseases and the collapse of health services.
The project aims to improve the water and sanitation infrastructure of health facilities, the delivery of consumable supplies, equipment, and medical commodities to reduce barriers in the provision of services and to expand the coverage of health centers. Moreover, the project will be building the capacity of health staff, delivering health services in coordination with local health services and strengthening a Community Health Workers (CHW) network that covers primary health activities and health promotion. 16 health centers will be supported in this new intervention, some centers already established will continue to be supported, and 7 new centers will be inaugurated based on identifying unique needs.
The participation of young people in CHW networks is crucial. A cascading model will be used for young people to disseminate health promotion to their peers. The project will also consider strengthening measures for differentiated treatment in the care of adolescents.
These strategies, together with the new partnerships with universities and other civil society organizations, will ensure the health intervention’s monitoring, sustainability, and effectiveness.
As in all components in the context of the COVID19 Pandemic, all health activities incorporate awareness-raising, training, and implementation of measures to prevent and contain the transmission, in accordance with the parameters established at the global and national levels for attention strategies.
The WASH sector program guarantees that people in households, schools, and communities have access to safe water and adequate sanitation and hygiene facilities. Actions will be implemented following the Sphere Standards, the recommendations of the Sphere Standards for COVID19, and in coordination with the WASH cluster.
Communities will be incorporated in the identification, rehabilitation, and appropriate use of water and sanitation projects. RET will seek to strengthen the capacities of youth for health promotion, water management, vector control, and food safety. Hygiene kits will be distributed to new households. The project will continue to improve water and sanitation infrastructures in schools, health facilities, and communities while strengthening Hygiene Promotion Clubs (CPH) based on the success of the previous phase.
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