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Tepui’s first fundraiser and our first community Ludoteca!

Earlier this year, Tepui hosted our first Venezuelan-inspired fundraiser! We were very fortunate to have a group of 40 people who support Tepui at the event. There were delicious Venezuelan aperitifs, supplied by Yesenia Louzé & Angely Mata, and authentic Venezuelans rums on offer to taste from Best Taste Trading. Best Taste Trading also donated their proceeds from the night. Artworks by one of our very talented Ludotecarians, Carlos Yusti, were on show, all takings from art sales went directly to Carlos. The event was accompanied by a live violin performance by Martin Schaefer which made the evening feel special.

The event was held at one of our sponsor’s KMB cosmetics. Owner of KMB, Kerem Montiel Buchs, greeted everyone in her welcome speech and Yelitza gave a presentation on what we have been on working on and our future projects here at Tepui. The donations we raised on the night went directly to our current project: to open a third Ludoteca!

We are trying to open our first-ever community Ludoteca, it will be our third Ludoteca but the first that is not in a school. We want to open a community Ludoteca so children who are not in schools can have access to toys and games, play together, and learn to take care of things. It will be open on weekends and during the school summer holidays, providing an alternative to kids and families who need a moment for play, creativity and fun. So far, funding from the event has gone to legal permits, the lawyer’s fee (for the permits), the salaries of our Venezuelan Ludotecarians, and investigating into alternative spaces for our community Ludoteca as well as looking at furniture and repairs.

A community Ludoteca comes with its own set of difficult challenges especially as the Venezuelan economy continues to dramatically decline. Our biggest challenges are finding a suitable, secure space for our third Ludoteca and obtaining legal permits. While we have a space it has become difficult to get legal permission; that is why we have hired a lawyer to help with the permits and getting a rental contract. As such, we have had to postpone doing the necessary repairs. In the meantime, our team are looking for other spaces to

rent but it isn’t easy as Venezuelans would rather leave a property empty than risk someone refusing to move out.

Trying to make the current space work, while looking for other options, has been expensive. As the process goes on, prices go up. Also, the initial prices we were quoted for the furniture and repairs have now been converted into US dollars in a disproportional way, inflating the cost well beyond what would be the actual cost. There continues to be a crisis and a shortage of petrol in Venezuelan which increases transport and logistics costs, making things very complicated.

Despite the adverse conditions, we are committed to helping the children in Venezuela and that is all possible thanks to your help. With your donations, we are able to pay our staff in Venezuela and keep working towards opening a new Ludoteca.

So, what next? Preparing toys to be sent in time for Christmas! We have collected a good amount of toys and games for the new Ludoteca. Some of these were donations from the flea market at the Schule Merlischachen donation. A report was written by one of the students in the 6th grade, which you can read here. Our next step is to organise, pack and send the toys to Venezuela before the end of the year. We should have enough toys and games for approximately 8 boxes. A second shipment will be done early next year. We will keep you posted.

For all those who came and supported Tepui, a big thank you from our hearts. Tepui would not be possible if it wasn’t for your generosity.

A special thank you to KBM for hosting our event, and to, Best Taste Trading, Yesenia Louzé & Angely Mata, Martin Schaefer and our Tepui supporters René Haas and Hildeghard Gehrenbeck.

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