Once one of Latin America’s most prosperous societies, Venezuela has since descended into economic, political and social chaos. Hyper inflation, chronic food shortages and lack of medicines now define the country, where according to a recent university study, almost 90% of the population now live in poverty. Against this backdrop, charitable organizations on the ground are endeavoring to continue their crucial work, and one such organization is Fundacion Madre Maria Luisa Casar, which supports some of the country’s most disadvantaged children.
Founded by Mother Maria Luisa Casar Castanedo, the charity’s work ensures that children from Barrio 24 de Marzo, one of the poorest and most violent neighborhoods in Caracas, receive a formal academic education, a balanced daily meal and access to basic healthcare. Thanks to invaluable support from a range of benefactors, what started with a single volunteer teacher and six children on a staircase in Petareño has since grown into a community of 400 children from pre-school to primary age, housed in a dedicated four-story building now officially recognized as the Jenaro Aguirre Elorriaga School. And over the course of its 21-year history, the charity has thus far helped keep 700 children off the streets and given them a chance for a better future.
The school has become a full support system for the local community, and by guaranteeing that children have access to a good education, balanced nutrition and good quality healthcare it hopes to help break the cycle of poverty and exclusion. To sustain and further expand its work, the Fundacion has partnered with GlobalGiving, the world’s largest crowdfunding community, to enable donors to make safe and easy contributions. Find out more here, where you can also donate if you are able to do so.