Edmund Rice Development Menu

Committed to impacting positively on the lives of people made poor

Displaced Venezuelans in Peru Project

Posted on 15 August 2019

Since 2015, over 4 million Venezuelans have left their country due to the humanitarian crisis there according to UNHCR statistics. Nearly one million of these displaced Venezuelans have settled in Peru, where the majority of them live in poverty. Lima, the country’s main city, is now home to more than 80% of Venezuelans currently living in Peru with the largest number living in the district of San Juan de Lurigancho. Edmundo Rice Latinoamérica has been working with these displaced people in the community of San Juan de Lurigancho to ensure their basic needs are met by providing a drop-in café for inexpensive meals, health care support, short-term housing and advice on obtaining residency.

 

Stories of Impact:
Due to the crisis in Venezuela, the young couple Nehomar and Coromoto left their country and traveled to Peru. Nehomar had a hard time getting a job due to health problems. Unfortunately, many of the available jobs to Venezuelans are very poorly paid and are as street vendors. Street vendors have to stand and walk from one place to another looking for customers, which is difficult and stressful. Nehomar’s lack of employment and resources to cover their basic needs worsened his illness and made him depressed. Coromoto had to work for both of them, but even with her income, they did not have enough to cover the expensive medications that Nehomar needed to recover. This was also very difficult for her, not only having to cover such high expenses, but also for the great concern she felt for her husband’s condition which was not improving. Despite being sick, Nehomar didn’t stay at home; he started selling coffee on the streets. One day, he learned about the Displaced Venezuelan Project. At first, Nehomar and Coromoto had doubts about it, because so far, they had not come across any organisation willing to help them. At that point, Nehomar was malnourished and both needed urgent help. They first visited the drop-in café and bought an inexpensive and nutritious lunch. They learned that the project supported Venezuelans in need, and from that day, Nehomar and Coromoto started to visit the café daily. At one point, they were invited to be the housekeepers of the residence and they accepted it gladly. Nehomar started receiving health treatment from Red Cross and Polyclinic San Benito and they also began living at the residence. Nehomar’s health has improved; he is working by taking care of the residence and Coromoto is currently working in a shopping centre. They send money back to their families in Venezuela each month. They both work hard and, with the support from the project, their lives have improved significantly. They are grateful for the support they have received from the project, and are hoping to be able to move out of the residence this year and start a family.

Through the project, over 80 displaced persons from Venezuela receive a daily nutritious lunch at the drop-in café. The menu has been tailored to the beneficiaries’ needs and with consideration to their health problems. Two residences have also been made available for men and women, where 14 men and 8 women stay. In both residencies, the beneficiaries have access to an affordable, secure and clean place to live. Health care services as well as free counselling services have been made available through partnerships with different organisations. Legal advice on immigration procedures and Peruvian labour laws has also been available to all beneficiaries. The project has partnered with ENCUENTROS, the Jesuit services for refugees, who have provided workshops and legal advice to all beneficiaries in several locations. By the end of their stay at the residence, most of the beneficiaries have obtained a Peruvian Temporary Work Permit. This emergency project not only has alleviated the difficult situation Venezuelans are going through, but also has provided an opportunity to the most disadvantaged to live with dignity. We thank Misean Cara for their support of this project.

Beneficiaries enjoying a meal at the project