More than 100,000 people have been affected by floods and landslides in Venezuela after heavy rainfalls which are said to be the worst in the past 60 years. SOS Children's Villages Venezuela is providing temporary shelter to homeless families in the SOS Training Centre in El Junquito.
El Junquito is a small town located about 24 km from the capital city of Caracas. Its topography is mainly mountainous and lies at an altitude of 1,500 meters above sea level. The sector is divided into areas called districts, housing estates and rural areas. Most houses are made of brick and are located in unstable slopes. The rural areas are characterized by modest homes inhabited by small and medium land producers. In most cases, people do not have the necessary resources to build decent, legal houses, which can meet the current standards of construction. The buildings are usually made where the opportunity arises, regardless of whether the topography is good or not for construction. In the past weeks, the rains that have lashed the country have been particularly intense, according to some experts reaching the highest levels within the last 60 years. For this reason, the government has declared "emergency" in some states, where the situation is quite critical.
To date, over 100,000 people have been affected by floods and landslides across the country. The national government, together with the regional and local authorities have acted jointly in the search for solutions. In so doing, they have requested the cooperation of organisations, businesses and civil society, to give temporary shelter to families who are homeless. SOS Children's Villages Venezuela is currently supporting 16 families (62 people) at the SOS Training Centre located in the area of El Junquito. The refugees here can count on decent rooms, beds, toilets, a kitchen and a fridge. We are giving them temporary shelter which enables them to live in a safe place while they can solve their situation.
Staff of SOS Children's Villages Venezuela have had several meetings with representatives of the refugee families and representatives of the competent authorities, who have established the "Standards of Living", and generated commissions for safety, health, grants and community work. And because Christmas is very close, SOS staff are running a campaign to collect gifts for the kids who are living at the SOS premises in El Junquito. The delivery party is going to be held on 22 December.
In the meantime, the regional government has visited the site and has recognized the support of SOS Children's Villages for the affected families living at the SOS Training Centre.