SOS Children in Venezuela
Overview of Venezuela
Historically one of South America's more stable democracies, Venezuela has one of the largest known oil deposits in the world. Yet more than half the population lives in poverty in shanty towns and slums, the most infamous of which sprawl over the hillsides around the capital, Caracas. The collapse of world oil prices at the end of the 1990s led to a further erosion of living standards and a decline in public services.
Our Work in Venezuela
In 1976, SOS Children built their first Village in the north of the Venezuela, where the majority of the population live. SOS Children's Village La Cañada (Maracaibo) is in El Topita, 35 km south of Maracaibo, the country's second largest city. Opened in 1978, the Village has 14 family houses and two SOS Youth Homes which are home to over 150 children and young people. There is an SOS Nursery with five classrooms and a capacity for up to 258 children from both the Village and the surrounding community. Similarly, the SOS School located in the Village is also open to children from the local area. Two SOS Social Centres provide day-care for children of local working parents and single mothers, as well as welfare services for the local community. A small clinic provides medical assistance to the community. Several SOS Youth Homes have been established nearby in the town. Young people usually move from the SOS Children's Village to an SOS Youth Home when they start a vocational training course or go on to higher education. With the support of qualified youth workers, the young people are able to prepare themselves for independent lives.
We opened SOS Children's Village Ciudad Ojeda in 1983 in the centre of Ojeda, a small town on the eastern shores of Lake Maracaibo. It has ten family houses providing a new home for up to 90 children. A community building in the Village provides space for the families to celebrate functions and festivities together. The SOS Social Centre provides day care for up to 100 children as well as medical support. The older children from the SOS Children's Village attend state-run primary and secondary schools near by. For youngsters from the SOS Children's Village, two SOS Youth Homes have been set up in town.
SOS Children's Village Maracay opened in 2000. Maracay is an industrial town about an hour away from Valencia. The Village has 12 family houses for up to 108 children. For older youngsters from the SOS Children's Village, an SOS Youth Home has been set up in town close by to the Village. An SOS Social Centre was opened in 2003. The centre provides child day care and associated welfare services such as medical facilities and nutritional advice. This enables mothers, who are often single-parents, the chance to go to work and earn a living to support their families. In addition, the village also has a house for SOS aunts, SOS mothers-in-training who act as family helpers and support the SOS mothers during their daily work.
In December 1999, Venezuela was hit by torrential rain. Many people lost their homes in the floods. As a result, SOS Children's Villages set up an Emergency Relief Programme, which lasted for four months. People were given medical supplies, tools and household implements and were also helped in their search for missing relatives.
Aldeas Infantiles SOS VenezuelaApartado Postal No. 70940
Caracas, Distrito Capital 1071A
Tel: +58/212 234 1290, +58/212 239 0470, +58/212 239 1514
Fax: +58/212 234 6663