Why we need a special assistance program and why we need to expand it
We know many of the families we represent experience dire circumstances. We cannot help everyone all the time. Aside from our basic assistance program, we established a Special Assistance program to address particularly difficult situations. Only a few individuals so far are part of the program, which aims to provide special benefits: sometimes we help raise funds to remodel a home, get an adequate bed, or provide access to fresh water, like we did for Dilia Oviedo from El Dificil.
Factor-H evaluates the needs of the families and prioritizes families who need help, aligned with our survey/incidence program (currently ongoing). Often times, it is to fulfill a promise we made to our friends, like the promise to buy a new home for the Soto Soto siblings from Venezuela who visited the Pope in 2017. Most of the times, this work falls behind in priority, but we strongly believe that this type of assistance is life changing.
For the last 4 years, individual sponsors such as yourself have provided full care for some of the kids in the Abrazos program. For example, Anyervi Gotera, the kid who met Pope Francis and received a Neymar Barcelona jersey, has received aid since 2017 by a wonderfully generous Italian donor.
Our President has personally sponsored two girls, Yohandri and Yosbelis Oviedo, from Colombia, when they had to fetch for themselves after their mother, suffering from HD, could not care for them. We enabled them to live with other relatives and continue to cover for their care. Or the story of Brayan (see HERE) whose story and that of his sister exemplifies why we need this level of aid.
In other instances, some families might be evicted from their shacks, and Factor-H has stepped in to cover their rent in a new home until we raise enough funds to build them new homes.
There is more need that we can cover financially. Through this program, we hope to highlight specific families or kids who need that level of care. We hope you can help us make their lives a bit easier. We need sponsors. Reach out.
Comedor "El Renacer' (dining hall) in Barranquitas, Venezuela
With a local church in Barranquitas, Factor-H and Habitat LUZ re-opened a food hall at the church facilities to provide food to 300 kids and 100 patients. The project started in 2020 but was stopped due to the pandemic. It is now in operation again after having provided improved installations, gas and AC units. The Church volunteers and Factor-H staff on the ground manage the project, purchase the food, cook it, and ensure kids and patients can eat adequately, while enforcing covid-19 precautions.
This program is crucial for the patients and children who often times only eat once a day. The extent of malnutrition in this community is simply staggering.
Burial service assistance
Many families cannot afford to bury their deceased HD relatives. Factor-H has provided funeral assistance for people in Colombia and Venezuela since 2019. Last year alone, we provided burial assistance for 13 people in Venezuela.
The economic difficulties families experience was never more vivid for us at factor-H than when little Olver, 8 years old, died from a high fever on his way to the hospital. We were too late. Our emergency assistance special program gives flexibility to our staff to act promptly in case of am emergency. In this case, Olver’s family did not have access to transportation and we could not reach them early enough to save his life.