"I want to learn and continue studying, to become a doctor and help my dad", Claimar, 14 years old
In the most remote communities of Venezuela, it is a challenge for boys and girls to access education; and even more amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Yakerawitu, on the shores of the Orinoco River 700 km away from Caracas, in the Delta Amacuro state, lives a Warao community. They decided more than 15 years ago to get closer to the city to access better education opportunities for its children, as well as to better health services for their families.
At the beginning there were 97 families, today there are only 33. Many families of the Warao ethnic group have emigrated to Brazil or Trinidad seeking better living conditions, and those of Yakerawitu are no exception. The closest school is 40 minutes away from the community, a long journey that many walk with smiles on their faces when it’s time to learn.
“My father works cutting the grass and my mother passed away, sometimes we can't afford food. But since the program “Education cannot wait” arrived, I have learned a lot, before I did not know how to do mathematical operations, and they also help us with food at home… that makes me feel calmer”, says Claimar, 14 years old.
In Yakerawitu, and its surrounding communities, UNICEF supports 168 children and adolescents with academic monitoring, through school kits, food, and hygiene products that reach the families of the community and help them to have the best performance in their learning process.
The academic monitoring functions with facilitators who work with guides and activity notebooks adapted to the learning level of each child and adolescent in the community. In addition, through the Child Protection Councils, community families receive psychosocial support services.
“They taught me mathematics, also to read better and write, and now I teach my dad things that he didn't know before. I always draw pictures of him”, says Claimar, 14 years old.
We also spoke with Marcelín Cedeño, authority of the Yakewawitu community, and he told us that “The children have to play and study, but they need to eat well and go to school… for that, we are grateful to you because you have helped them to study and eat better. "
"Yakera means beautiful in the Warao language, and that is how we feel towards you, beautiful for supporting us in this community," says Marcelín.
Claimar's favorite hobbies are playing volleyball and dancing. She invites everyone who comes to the community to play while she smiles and smiles. She introduced us to her siblings, and her cat, Juanito.
“I loved the backpack because it’s very beautiful. It also brought very good things in it like pencils, notebooks, colors... things that I had never had before. And with the food, we were able to try things that I had not eaten before. We always ate soup and dumplings (wheat arepas), but now we prepare other things as well. The facilitator taught us how to wash our hands, and my little sister and I always practice it”, says Claimar.
Alejandra Pocaterra, Communications Officer UNICEF Venezuela