“The Venezuelan Way”

Speeches Shim

Thursday, February 7, 2019
Fabiana hugs a woman who has opened her home in Colombia to Venezuelans.
Photo credit: Alison Harding, USAID/OFDA

More than one million Venezuelans have fled to Colombia to escape a political and economic crisis. But choosing to leave home is not an easy decision to make, especially when you’re leaving loved ones behind. Fabiana was forced to make this difficult choice.

Fabiana left Venezuela and her entire family behind after her father was diagnosed with cancer.

By the time of his diagnosis, the family could barely afford to eat, let alone pay for cancer medication, with each treatment costing 10 to 20 times Fabiana’s minimum wage monthly salary.

“In Venezuela, you can’t find medicine. You can’t find food. It’s very difficult to eat. What you earn in a month is not enough to feed yourself for a month. If you eat, you don’t buy clothes for your children,” she said. “This is why I went to Colombia — to work, to try to provide a better life for my mom, dad, and my kids.”

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