I don’t remember exactly how this started but I do remember that Adrian had called me and several of our friends to meet at his house. He was very worried about the current situation in Venezuela, “we have to do something, we have to help” he said. All of us agreed and after subsequent meetings we had fully developed the idea of the Mejor Venezuela Society.
It was not easy to find the best ways to contribute. We decided to focus on the most immediate needs such as medicine and food shortages. The next obstacle was finding a way to get these supplies to Venezuela. We had to figure out a way to distribute our aid throughout the country. We made it clear that all of our contributions should be accountable and traceable. Quickly we discovered the work of Susana Rafalli and Caritas Venezuela to fight child malnutrition in Venezuela. We got engaged with her work and concluded this was the best way we could channel our help.
It was a tough task to contact Caritas Venezuela or any of its regional offices. Eventually there was a breakthrough and Adrian was able to communicate with Barinas Catholic Bishop Jose Luis Azuaje, through him we were able to contact Caritas Barinas director Gabriela Mayer; finally we had found a reliable way to get started.
So far, our fundraising and external contributions have helped more than 700 children in the region of Barinas and looking to expand our coverage to Portuguesa (another Venezuelan region). None of this could be possible without the contribution of tens of volunteers, thanks to them for putting their effort for this noble cause.
Our first source of fundraising is donations (https://www.mejorvenezuela.org/donations). We also have a digital account at Return-it Express where anybody can deposit their recyclables using our “account number 604-422-8770”. Deserve special mention the generosity of other Venezuelan Associations in BC (VCSBC), schools and individuals here in our very own Vancouver who have shared their fundraising with us.
After one year we have consolidated an excellent team work. We are proud and grateful of our results and commit to keep working to help more children in Venezuela.
Mejor Venezuela Society Directors: Damiano Palmegiani , Adrian Pernalete, Maria Ojeda, Virginia Black, Gerardo Marquez, Graciela Leon, Ruben Garcia, Hjamar Leon, Luis Auslestia and Luis Villapol