The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, more commonly known as Venezuela, is a federal republic located on the north end of the South American continent. It is bordered by Guyana to the east, Colombia to the west, and Brazil to the south. Its northern side faces the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
At CheFuKo, we conduct our activities out of Valencia, the capital city of Carabobo State in the northwestern part of the country. Valencia is the third biggest city in the country, with a population of approximately 830,000. In addition to its status as an industrial and manufacturing hub, it is also known for its production of crops such as cacao, coffee, and tobacco. When Venezuela declared independence from Spain in 1811, Valencia was originally intended to be the capital of the republic. It sits in a valley, surrounded on all sides by mountains.
The city of Valencia, surrounded by a mountain range called the Coastal Range.
The security of the country has worsened significantly since the collapse of the economy in 2014. While CheFuKo strives to perform on-site needs assessment and aid activities whenever possible, we are currently working remotely through local volunteers due to the high-risk situation.
Origin of Support
The economic crisis of 2014 resulted in a hyperinflation that has left the majority of the population living in poverty. Over 90% of families are unable to obtain enough food, and frequently resort to picking through garbage on the side of the street. Children are unable to attend school due to chronic malnutrition. In 2018, the Senior Advisor and Representative Director of CheFuKo flew to South America to conduct an independent investigation.
Speaking with Venezuelan migrants living in Argentina and Cuba, it became quickly apparent that the situation was even graver than the team could have imagined. There were stories of family members killed on the streets, no electricity or water, and not even enough funds to afford the medicine needed to stay alive. One carton of eggs was as expensive as a month’s worth of salary.
As CheFuKo, we have made the decision to support the children of Venezuela and their families through fundraising and financial aid.
① Food distribution at hospitals
We are currently supporting food distribution activities at the Hospital Central de Valencia (CHET) located in Valencia. Many children in this hospital aren’t able to eat proper meals on a daily basis. CheFuKo supports local volunteers in cooking and distributing meals for these children. With a budget of 5000 yen (JPY), it is possible to feed about 100 children.
② Food distribution in poorer neighborhoods
CheFuKo also supports meal distributions in San Diego Municipality, a poorer region where children often do not have enough to eat. Volunteers who live nearby cook and distribute meals on their days off, while CheFuKo provides financial backing. Every week, these volunteers manage to feed approximately 100 children.