We didn’t plan to establish Something New in Lima, and yet, here we are.
We started in Peru with a focus on moms and kids in Cusco who are continuing to learn day by day. They are fighting for better jobs and digging in to raise their kids rather than being overwhelmed by daily survival. Their lives are stabilizing as they find their way on the Nuevo Camino. Meanwhile, in Lima, we continue meeting young Venezuelan refugees. Not long ago, their lives looked a lot like yours and mine.
Until 2013, Venezuela was a thriving first-world nation producing much of the world’s oil. Today, it’s producing refugees.
The Venezuelan exodus now rivals the Syrian refugee crisis of 6.5 million people. Peru is now home to close to 1 million of the 5 million+ displaced Venezuelans. Many of them are young people—some right out of college, some forced to quit school, and others not able to get work in their professions without proper credentials in Peru. They are people like Brayan who left Venezuela with a one-way ticket and a backpack.
They did not want to leave their homes and they never thought something like this would happen in their country. Former geophysicists and accountants are now struggling to find work as taxi drivers and restaurant workers. Those working a job—any job—are the lucky ones. Resources are already stretched thin and refugees face the additional hardships that come from carrying an accent and facing rising resentment over their very presence.
We can’t solve the refugee crisis, but that’s not going to keep us from doing what we can do.
Right along with seeing how much needs to be done, we see how much more we can still do. We have 26 new friends from Venezuela and we meet more daily. I have a mantra from Frozen 2 ringing in my head as I write. At a moment when the task looks big and the way seems unclear, Anna decides to “do the next right thing.”
We will do the next right thing
One of our core values as an organization is to focus more on solutions than on the challenges. So “the next right thing” for us is to invest in a 5-story building in Lima. There, refugees will find safe housing and nourishing food to strengthen their malnourished bodies, along with support finding secure jobs.
Thank you for being a part of their story
We are so grateful for your support. Whether you attended Pinewood Realty’s Open House, helped us with Giving Tuesday, or can contribute to the newest urgent needs detailed below, thank you.
You are providing what these families crave most—the knowledge that they are seen and loved and cared for.