In recent years there has been a significant increase in the flow of Venezuelan citizens to different countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean, including an increase in the arrival of the Venezuelan population to the Republic of Panama. According to data from the Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants of Venezuela (R4V), as of April 2019 there were more than 3.7 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela worldwide, 1 of which 94,600 resided in Panama according to official figures.
In this context, the United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in coordination with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Organization of American States (OAS ), carried out a joint study to collect quantitative and qualitative data on the characteristics, conditions and needs of the Venezuelan people who have arrived in Panama since 2014.
The main objective of collecting and analyzing this information is to provide governmental, humanitarian and other relevant actors with the information required for the definition and promotion of strategic actions regarding protection, humanitarian assistance and social and economic insertion of the Venezuelan population in Panama.
The survey carried out in Panama shows that the majority of Venezuelan migrants and refugees are adults (91%). There is a concurrent migration with economically active ages, since 83% are in the age range of 18 to 45 years, with a higher concentration in the ages of 26 to 35 years. There is a slightly higher proportion of men (53%) than women (47%).
Venezuelan migrants in an irregular situation in the country have found themselves in difficulties at a time when their informal jobs have closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has forced social distancing and quarantine in the host nation.
As the Colombian government tightens restrictive measures in order to control the coronavirus pandemic, the thousands of Venezuelan migrants in the country have become the victims of the quarantine.
Homeless or food, faced with the impossibility of carrying out the informal work with which they earned their daily living, thousands of Venezuelans have decided to return to their country, exposing themselves to the contagion of COVID-19 due to overcrowding and unsanitary conditions.
Access to education in Panama by the Venezuelan migrant and refugee population in the
households surveyed vary according to age range, being that: between 4 and 5 years (age of education
preschool) only 43% attend educational centers; between 6 and 11 years there is a 79% access;
between 12 and 15 years there is 100% access; and between 16 and 17 years there is a 68% access .7
In the focus groups with Venezuelans and interviews with key stakeholders, challenges were identified for
educational access, both public and private, due to the need for educational documentation
complete and authenticated by the competent authority on education in Venezuela, as well as
due to the need for an Apostille of official documents
There is also a barrier to access, especially in Panama City, due to the limitation of places in
public schools (caused by infrastructure and capacity reasons, or by reasons
national population prioritization). This situation makes families have to look for centers
alternative schools to the first option chosen, sometimes with the support of MEDUCA.
This is why, I am planning to create different educational books and give these children for free in order to offer all these kids a better future. This material includes science, English, History, Math and several more subjects so every child that reads this "magazine" the learn facts and general culture.
Me and my team will be so grateful as well as the kids who are going to be so happy to have a better future.