This dynamic grassroots NGO works with sex workers and their children. It is based in the west of Caracas and directly runs programmes from there but also works with groups at a national level to help develop appropriate support and training networks.
Out of what can only be described as basic premises with limited resources, AMBAR has an amazing programme of activites from a day care centre for approximately 70 children who are the children of sex workers or from poor local, working families.
They currently have at least 6 babies and toddlers that are resident at the centre as they have been abandoned, usually at birth, as the mother knew or believed the child to be HIV+ like herself.
Unable to cope and without appropriate medicines the mothers abandon them; sadly some of the mothers have died, meaning the children are now orphans. Other than the day care provision, they run health clinics and STD clinics for sex workers and members of the local community and they have a low-cost condom bank.
They charge a token amount but the fact that poor prostitutes pay for condoms proves that AMBAR's education programmes are effective at helping to prevent the spread of STDs whereas if condoms were free it would be quite possible that people would take them but not use them.
Veniños is helping them to upgrade the premises so that they have spaces that are more tailor-made to the different groups and different programmes they are running.
Most of the funding though is being used to help them develop life skills and retraining workshops for sex workers. The aim is to provide training courses to give sex workers alternative skills from which they will be able to generate a living wage, thereby giving them choices for themselves and their chidren.
One cannot underestimate the "ripple" effect of AMBAR's work - it is not only to do with improving the lives of those directly affected but it will ultimately affect the culture of the clients of sex workers and then the families of those clients.