Five smiling children compete in a sack race.

Notes from a Field Officer: Healthcare and Festival Games in Venezuela

Hello everyone from Venezuela! I hope you had a great start to the year with your families. Here is a wrap-up of activities in 2021.

Mobile Medical Services Update

A father and his sons visit our medical clinic in Venezuela. Photo by Ronal Labrador / Preemptive Love Coalition.

December was our busiest month yet. Starting with our Mobile Medical Services, we managed to complete eight months of operations of this project—which we qualify as a great success. 

From May to December alone, our medical services served 4,408 patients—an average of 140 patients per week. This is a figure we aim to maintain and hopefully increase in 2022. 

Of these patients, 30% were children under 18 years of age and 45% were adults over 50.

Venezuela Cultural Program

Facemasks might hide smiles, but not their competitive spirit. Photo by Ronal Labrador / Preemptive Love Coalition.

The month of December was also the first time that Preemptive Love held a cultural event in Venezuela, and we decided to do it in a big way.

On December 4-5, together with our local partners, we held the Family Festival. At this event, we had inflatable games, live music, dance performances, theater, a puppet theater, clown show, family games, a youth soccer tournament, and even distribution of ice cream for all the children present.

A young boy wearing face paint receives a coloring book.
A second community event included face painting and gifts for children. Photo by Gabriel Alejandro Mangia Molina.

During the event, one of the doctors from our project was present in case of any medical emergencies. She was accompanied by our logistics coordinator, who has supported the doctor in her work but is not from this community. Despite not living there, the community has become so fond of the logistics coordinator that he was invited to participate in the festival.

Soccer uniforms in bright orange/grey, and bright green/black.
We wouldn’t normally put our logo on team shirts, but it comes with a sense of belonging for these players. Photos by our partners.

Finally, I would like to draw your attention to this photo. The prize for the winners of the soccer tournament was uniforms for all team members—young people of this community we serve in Venezuela. 

Now, just imagine our surprise when at the end of the event, during the award ceremony, these young people spontaneously asked if the Preemptive Love logo could be included next to the name of their team on the shirt.

Neighbors of all ages mime playing musical instruments.
For two days, neighbors had the chance to spend time together. Photo by Ronal Labrador / Preemptive Love Coalition.

Through this event, we were able to bring together more than 2,000 members of a community marked by violence. They were all able to enjoy the event in peace and harmony, in what is one more step on our way to honoring our mission: to stop the spread of violence and end war.

I think this is an important demonstration of the work we do together at Preemptive Love. When we invest in a community, we do it to serve. But also to spend time together, and treat the people who live there as what they are: our friends. 

[A note about Covid-19 and gatherings in Venezuela: Economic sanctions against Venezuela complicate the country’s ability to purchase vaccines. Vaccines have been obtained from countries like China, Cuba, and Russia. As well, tens of thousands of Venezuelans have traveled to Colombia to receive better recognized, World Health Organization-approved vaccines.

Reports estimate that more than 70% of Venezuelans have received at least one vaccine dose. As of the writing of this post, following strictly enforced lockdown measures, Covid-19 infection rates were low.]