- Yelitza Bättig
Back and ready! moving forward with the Ludotecas
The last year and a half has been especially tough for many of us. For Tepui and the Ludotecas escolares, very difficult. While in many countries lockdowns and home schooling may have lasted for a few months, children in Venezuela stopped going to school since March 2020, and were expected to learn virtually in a place where electricity and working telecommunications are not a given. The good news? It is slowly opening up and since October 2021, many children are returning to school and attending classes once a week.
Let me highlight a couple of points for context:
Covid-19 strong and long movement restrictions (lockdown) in Venezuela, meant an economic disaster for many families who relied on a hustle economy to survive
Fuel shortages have made it impossible for many people to mobilize, to go to work and for companies to continue operating
The continuous exodus (https://www.iom.int/venezuelan-refugee-and-migrant-crisis) shows also in the schools with many teachers migrating to neighboring countries and schools not able to replace them
With a collapsed health system and very limited distribution of vaccines, people are scared to go out and send their children to school
All in all, learning has become the latest battle (https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-latin-america-59762809). Yet, something particular happened recently that has opened up new possibilities and is allowing a sort of economic revival not seen in 2020. Dollarization. In a country with very tense relationships with USA, Venezuelans are today going about doing their transactions using American bills. In fact, dollars are preferred and prices for services and products are now given in US dollars.
With this reactivation it appears that a new normal is forming and we are excited to see that again we can do things. And we have been doing a lot recently!:
We have been able to mobilize to collect the boxes with toys sent two years ago to Ciudad Bolivar (see our blog https://www.tepui.ch/post/christmas-packing)
We resumed activities at the Ludoteca within Yocoima school, cleaning up the space, getting rid of the old, wet and damaged toys and goods:
Lastly, we have been able to buy products to renovate the space for the Ludoteca Tepui, a Ludoteca for the community, our dream that got put on hold in 2020. The space we have is needing lots of love (see below) and we are positive we will transform it into something nice for the children of the community.
And there is much more to come. We recognize that we need to adapt to the current situation, remain flexible and grow our alliances to succeed. We are super excited with the possibilities! and in the next weeks you will hear more about the plans for this year, so stay tuned more.
If all of this got you interested and you want to contribute, we are currently searching for volunteers, so do not hesitate to drop us a note (email@example.com), if you are ready to get involved.