Venezuela today is experiencing a tragedy. "Supermarkets are empty. Each person can buy just 2 pieces of bread a day and the queues are so long that sometimes people have to ask for a work leave," says Dr Alessia Andena, of the Salesian Mission Office in Turin. Besides the scarcity of food, there is the problem of inflation that drives up prices daily. A third problem comes from the lack of medicines or access to them. "There are people who die from diseases that could easily be cured," adds Dr. Andena.
Since the crisis began, over four million Venezuelans have fled the country and millions of people need help to survive. Those who have left in most cases are well-trained professionals, so that the country faces an even starker and more difficult situation for the future. The situation of instability has meant that violence has grown and has spread even among the youngest.
"This dramatic situation is seriously affecting the activities of the Salesians in the country. For example, it was necessary to close a boarding school, given the lack of food for the residents ... The children go to school without receiving the necessary food, which is why many people arrive to the lessons already hungry or faint," continues Dr Andena.
Everyone is experiencing very difficult moments. Many minors are abandoned, young people do not see a future for themselves, many families are forced to break up because the parents leave to go abroad ... In this situation the Salesians remain by the population's side, accompanying and helping people to the best of their ability.
Various Salesian Missionary Offices, including those of Turin and Madrid, are committed to sending aid to Salesian works in Venezuela.