In Venezuela, many challenges persist, mainly political instability and hyperinflation. These issues have hurt most Venezuelans, resulting in many other challenges. Extreme poverty is common, affecting three out of every four citizens, and if citizens aren’t in extreme poverty, they are on the brink. Many daily struggles Venezuelans face include inadequate health care infrastructure, limited food access and economic instability.
Many products are scarce in the country, including necessities like essential medicines, clean water and affordable food. Approximately 76% of Venezuela’s population lives on $1.90 per day. This economic climate has led an estimated 5 million citizens to relocate.
The South American Initiative (SAI), a non-governmental organization (NGO), is doing much groundwork for the Venezuelan community. SAI’s mission is to help assist the country’s Venezuela’s vulnerable, including mothers, orphans, children, seniors and even dogs.
Addressing Health Care Challenges
SAI’s commitment to the Venezuelan people is to provide adequate health care. Over the past three months, SAI has provided more than 800 citizens with medical care through their free clinics. The services include specialized care in gynecology and obstetrics, EKGs, ultrasounds, nutrition counseling, regular monthly checkups and medicines. SAI’s mission to help the community continues as they have partnered with five orphanages since 2022. The orphanages receive their health care services, too.
Unfortunately, many Venezuelans have to deal with hunger, particularly orphans and children. The Venezuelan government’s funding for children and orphans is shrinking due to hyperinflation and reallocation of funds. The NGO SAI has taken the initiative from November 2022 to February 2023 to provide food deliveries to orphanages. In those three months, they delivered 9,850 meals to children in need nationwide. These meals provide the nutritional requirements and assortment to meet daily dietary needs. Like food, SAI has also provided essential medicines and vitamins to boost children’s health. SAI’s adaptability remains vital as they have had challenges from the lockdowns and rising prices to deliver the meals. However, SAI has continued doing meal deliveries despite roadblocks.
Compassion for Canines
SAI’s mission extends not only to humans but also to animals’ lives. In the first quarter of this year, the organization distributed over 4,000 pounds of dog food at their SAI A&G Sanctuary, with an additional 1,000 pounds provided to neighboring shelters. The SAI A&G Sanctuary, in partnership with allied shelters, is on a mission to rescue malnourished, sick and abandoned dogs from the streets of Venezuela. These rescued dogs often arrive with parasites, malnutrition and other severe medical conditions. SAI provides many services for these dogs, such as food, clean water, vaccinations, spaying/neutering and medications.
Venezuela is a country that needs hope, and the South American Initiative (SAI) provides it. Their commitment to alleviating the suffering of Venezuelans, both human and animal, offers relief for the population.
– Ariana Wauer