Comunidad Los Rosales
The importance of pre-school education is at the heart of this project, financed by Veniños partly with the generous donation of around £26,000 from a corporate donor that wishes to remain anonymous.
Veniños is helping the community to improve and refurbish its existing pre-school building and then to build new classrooms, offices, storage area and a canteen. Once this is done, we will help them design and build an appropriate outdoor play area. This is a big project but we see this as a fantastic opportunity to help a community to help itself. They have created their own plan for development that we believe it is a well-thought out and inclusive plan.
Veniños is providing the financial resources to Fundación AFIN to develop and expand its programme of "Maestra en casa" (not dissimilar to the Health Visitor programme in the UK) and Ludotecas (local play areas) in Comunidad Los Rosales. We believe it will help give local children the best possible start in life and mean that both they and their parents have made all the correct preparations to enrol children at the appropriate time in the local pre-school. We want to help engage parents and children in the educational process as much as possible from as early an age as possible.
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.
Casa Hogar José Gregorio
This is a children's home run by very dedicated nuns and volunteers in Caracas.
The children range in age from 0-18 and it is a mixed home as they try desperately to keep siblings together rather than for them to be split and go to single-sex homes which tends to be more common once children are over the age of 6 or so. The children have often suffered years of abuse and neglect so the work of integration and support is hard but the home is a happy and safe place for children where they gradually learn to trust and heal again.
Comunidad Camuri Grande
This community programme has taken the leases from owners of properties are were almost destroyed in the landslides at the end of 1999 in La Guaira, near Caracas, and in return for a long lease, they have gradually repaired the properties so that they now run a youth and community centre, a pre-school, a ludoteca, a canteen for local children and a shop amongst other things.
In conjunction with another NGO, Venezuela Sin Límites, Veniños is to help fund a specialist computer training programme for local youth.
We have dedicated a small proportion of funds to FUNDAICI, which is a leading NGO in the field of research and training.
Veniños has helped to publish a vital book about children at risk in Venezuela which gives an overview of what the actual situation is and what the causes and triggers for the problems are, thereby helping people who work with vulnerable and abused children to understand the broader background to individual crisis.
Asociación Civil El Samán
Our first major project funding was awarded to Asociación Civil El Samán, a community group that recognises the benefits to be gained from sports education and participation for those children who cannot normally access sports facilities.
These community workers have witnessed the amazing benefits of sport to the children and also to the wider community and so have now forged a charity with the specific purpose of nurturing social development by broadening access to sport, with participation by children from the shanty towns.
Veniños also has a smaller rolling fund for emergency requests to help with repairs or emergency expenses that charities may unexpectedly incur.