The Colombia Mission was born as a response of the Fraternity – International Humanitarian Missions (FIHM), affiliated with the Fraternity – International Humanitarian Federation (FIHF), in light of the humanitarian crisis experienced by the immigrants coming from Venezuela and of the Colombians that are displaced within their own country looking for new opportunities, far from the conflicts generated by the guerrillas and other situations of vulnerability.
At the beginning of May of this year, the Colombian Humanitarian Mission was temporarily closed for an indeterminate period because of the global health situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, respecting the protocols established by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Fraternity Missions (FIHM), in partnership with Emergency Education, the Waldorf Educational and Social Corporation (WaldorfESC), Initiatives of Change US, the University of Santo Tomás, and Bethany, is organizing the Seminar on Education in Emergency Situations and Humanitarian Responses, which will happen in due course in late 2020 or early 2021, depending on how the global health situation develops.We will keep everybody informed!
Since the middle of June 2019, the Fraternidade International FIHMhas been participating in the Interagency Group of Mixed Migratory Flows – GIFMM of Bogota and region, acting in response to the humanitarian emergency in Colombia to generate more opportunities for the Venezuelan migrants that arrive there – whether to build an honorable life in this country, or to continue their journey to other countries.
Up until now (November 2019), the Fraternidade has helped 520 children in the Colombian capital. Developing a work in art-education, their goal is to create an environment of protection and the strengthening of these children and adolescents so they can better handle the situation of refuge they are living in.
Objectives of the Colombia Mission
1.To build, together with other organizations, a better response in the face of the growing and complex demand of the migratory crisis in Venezuela;
2. To strengthen the resiliency in the children and adolescents that cope with this situation of humanitarian crisis;
3. To generate better ways to welcome the migrants in Colombia so that they can build an honorable life;
4.To work with the protection of those most vulnerable.
Current needs of the Mission
Needs – monthly amount of USD5,000 See where this value is applied:
Rent of two missionary houses
Maintenance cost of the houses
Air tickets from Brazil to Bogota to the missionaries
or air miles
Purchase of a vehicle for transfer of missionaries
Beginning in September of 2018, in the city of Cúcuta –on the border with Venezuela, the work was focused on emergency assistance for the immigrants arriving in Colombia, especially the walkers arriving at Cúcuta, moving on to Bogota on foot, and occasional work for livelihood and education in emergencies. This first stage ended in January of 2019, and in June of 2019, the Humanitarian Mission restarted in the capital, Bogota. The Colombian capital has the greatest concentration of Venezuelans in the country and continues to be the city in greatest demand by immigrants.
Since the middle of September of 2019, and previously in July of 2019, the Fraternity Missions (FIHM) participated in the Interagency Group of Mixed Migratory Flows – IGMMF, North of Santander and Bogota (and region), acting in the humanitarian emergency response in Colombia to generate more opportunities for the Venezuelan immigrants that arrive there – either to build a life of dignity in this country or to continue their journey toward other countries.
In September of 2019, the Fraternity Missions (FIHM) joined the Bethany Global Services agency to provide assistance for children and adolescents. Since then, it has been active in some of the points of care for immigrants in the capital, in partnership with that agency, in addition to organizing joint events where the volunteer missionaries of the Fraternity Missions (FIHM) work with children and adolescents.
The main pillar of action in the Colombia Mission is the work of emergency education, developed through art education, looking to generate a protective environment, strengthening resilience and the possibility of childhood having the space to express itself in these children and adolescents, who are facing the humanitarian crisis. Until March of 2020, around 840 children and adolescents were helped in the Colombian capital.