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The UN collaborating with the Norandina's Province that welcomes Venezuelan refugees

24/10/2018: Colombia

The House of welcome run by the Brothers and lay Marists in the neighbourhood of Teusaquillo, Bogotá (Colombia) to help Venezuelan children now has the backing of the United Nations. 

The House called 'A heart without bounds'  was opened on  6  June of this year to support families with children from 5 to  14 years who  are in the process of immigrating to Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.   

The provincial of Norandina, Br. César Rojas, and the head of the United Nations Agency for Refugees (ACNUR) for Latin America, signed an agreement between  the Marist Institute and the ACNUR at the beginning of July. The agreement providessupport consisting of material donations, formation, accompaniment and everything else that can help  to cut down on the violation of the rights of Venezuelan children.  

Help is also provided by the social services and by the Scalabrinianan Sisters who  guarantee the welcome of the children in the Marist House to assure them of their rights and protection.  

From July, 'A heart without bounds' has been receiving donations of clothes for children and babies. 

In August, the ACNUR offered the volunteers of the House a session of training and formation. 

In September, the children  were provided with suitcases filled with school materials and this month a delivery of resources is expected consisting of teaching, recreational materials and games  which will offer the children in the House strategies to build their self-esteem and resilience to cope with their migratory bereavement.  

"I can share the joyful news that this project has received today through the help of a very well-known radio station which has donated dental treatment for the children of the House", Sandra Rodríguez, coordinator of the welcome and housing project in Heart Without Bounds, announced on  2 October.  

"We are delighted because this allows us to demonstrate our credibility and our commitment to the children in guaranteeing their rights", she informed  the department of communications of the General House.  

On September 7, the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo published  a video with the collaboration of ACNUR to publicise the House. The video, entitled A home in Bogotá for Venezuelan children, publicised not only the support of ACNUR, but also the assistance offered by  the House in taking active steps to care for the children so that their  families can regularize their stay in Colombia. 

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