Venezuela is in a constant struggle to survive and emerge from its crisis, where the most "quiet" period in Venezuela's history as a country has been from the 1990s to the 2000s, from dictatorship to dictatorship, trying not to drown in a glass of water called socialism. But from 2010 until now, Venezuela is experiencing a humanitarian, economic, environmental crisis, which not only adults bear the consequence of this, but the new generations trying to resurface within all this chaos.
Where 5 and 6 years old children die from lack of food and care, children from 6 to even teenagers live on the streets and try to earn at least one bread to eat in the day, children in hospitals trying to fight and stay alive even when they are up to their bones and parents do not have to afford care. Adolescent and children affected not only physically with the lack of protein and calcium that each child should receive in their growth, but also psychologically, How many children have not been psychologically affected to see their families destroyed or their little friends die from lack of food?, that there is never light, water, they cannot go out to play because they suffer the danger of crime and even, end up going the easy way to live in crime, steal, traffic, etc. Just to get some money and help at home to at least eat once in a day. Situations that no child in the world should live, not even their parents, who have to decide whether to eat them or their children, every day, with every child who dies or suffers, Venezuela is extinguished and our hopes for a better future, suffer with these children.
Without youth, how are they going to get out of their crisis?
Since when is this happening?
Since 1900s Venezuela had evolved, every decade that passed it became more and more a power country, youth had a promising future, where you could be whoever you wanted if you set your mind and had goals to meet, children and adolescents who were going to be the future of the country were given total importance, giving them free education, care , his parents even had good salaries in their jobs and that helped a lot to survive, poverty has always existed, but it was much lower than it has become since 2016.
The beginning of the new decade of 2010 marked a before and after in Venezuela, as well as for adults and children born in the 2000s, as well as the new generations that were born involved in the problems that arise day by day in Venezuela, where children are left on the street because their parents cannot maintain them and have to resort to bad steps or beg, children who have home but not food, parents stop eating to feed their children. This does not only affect the physical, but in the psychological and morality of a person, to see your children die and offspring because you do not have to feed them, take care of them, take them even to a hospital, fills you with helplessness and discomfort, children even under the age of 12 opt for suicide, irreversible damage that not only children live, damage that they all as a society if they live and witness, they will be left with traumas and aftermath of this, even if the years pass and things improve, this will never be forgotten or stop hurting over time, this dark period in the society of the country will always be remembered. Crimes to humanity happen every day and very few people deign to talk about this
According to a study published by the Bengoa Foundation in 2019, 30% of children between the ages of 7 and 12, who assessed in four states of the country, were chronically malnourished. According to Marianella Herrera, also coordinator of the Venezuelan Observatory of Health (OVS), she says that lately they have also found significant deterioration in adolescents and even in young women and men.
The doctor explains that some families choose to "sacrifice" meals for older children and adults so that younger children can eat. "That's how we enter a vicious circle. We're starting to see a more global affectation that goes as far as teenagers and women and men of childbearing age," she says.
In Venezuela, where 87 percent of families are poor, most cannot meet needs as basic as food or health. Sick, malnourished children and parents, and in the midst of a depressing economic context, cannot escape hunger.
Malnutrition in children is not unique to Venezuela, and that is very clear, where there are countries like Yemen that 1 child for every 10 minutes is starving, has never been given vital importance to try to reduce this, there are foundations and charities willing to help, but these problems are always minimized by other politicians, economics, etc. Where, the truth is, if we do not care for the generations that arise every day anywhere in the world, we do not give them education, we raise awareness or even do not give them opportunities to resurface and obtain a better life than they have, the human race will not endure, this is not given importance because they are a minority, people prefer to talk about other things than to become aware and talk about this. Venezuela in 2017 reported that between 5 and 7 children died each week, today, there is no study showing how many children die even on a day.
The ONU placed Venezuela fourth on the list of countries with food insecurity after nations at war such as Yemen, Congo and Afghanistan. "The damage that has already been done is going to take Venezuela 30 years to lessen. A whole generation. Chronic malnutrition, like the one we're seeing in Venezuela, is going to represent the state with a health burden of an additional $34 for every adult who was a malnourished child," explains clinical nutrition specialist Susana Raffalli.
22.7% that hurts
"Alongside Congo, Venezuela is the only country to qualify with the highest scores of economic and food collapse, and we rank among the most dependent on imports," Caritas' advisor added on programs such as malnutrition and child recovery.
In an emergency such as Venezuelan, children, pregnant women and older adults are most affected in health. Metal, physical and malnutrition depletion are the factors of increased birth rate. Although there are reports and studies from 2018 and 2019, there are still none of 2020, which is considered one of the most difficult years and times for the Venezuelan population. Many chronic diseases and infections come from malnutrition, in a country where health care is almost non-existent, everything is linked, all these children are even more exposed to infections and diseases that were even believed eradicated not only by their malnutrition, but by the lack of vaccines and treatments, every day there are people affected even by tuberculosis, a disease that was already thought eradicated and cured, still exists in Venezuela and affects anyone.
According to the World Health Organization (OMS), when the percentage of malnutrition in a country exceeds 15% it can be recognized that a nutritional humanitarian emergency is being lived.
This problem in children goes far beyond just malnutrition, even if you find a way to improve their conditions and even recover them, there are many who have irreversible damage, many of them will not even become adults, even if they have the knowledge to read and write, suffer from motor and cognitive retardation, all this causing the situation and conditions in which they live , many of them will not even reach 6th grade, and most of them, will not go to college, if they survive the conditions in which they live.
It is estimated that Venezuela needs 20 to 30 years to reverse weight and size deficiency in these minors, however, many children suffer conditions that will affect them for the rest of their lives, because nutrition in the first years of life is so important that if not taken with concern, the consequences are irreversible. One in 4 households in Venezuela is in food insecurity and 68 percent of the population eats less than the 2,000 calories per day required by the body. All Venezuelan households suffer day by day the uncertainty of whether they will have to eat in the week or even in the day, it is not something exclusive to a single part of the population, it is part of the whole Venezuelan people.
Although poverty exists throughout Latin America and quarantine may be affecting all low-income people on the continent, Herrera explained, without belittling the problems of other countries, that Venezuela comes from a hyperinflationary process, which further affects food access, other countries have reservations and can live with that, in Venezuela they only give a box of food that lasts 1 week and arrives every 2 months.
In Venezuela, child malnutrition is evidence of the emergency, specifically global malnutrition in children under the age of five. They are far from getting older, but their adulthood is predictable, because of the hunger they have suffered: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, sick children; disability to learn and ease of being manipulated; trend towards violence and drug use. The harm caused by malnutrition to Venezuelan children, physically, intellectually and emotionally, is irreparable, according to child development experts.
"Socially, hunger in Venezuela has led to a deterioration in domestic relations. There are food fights, there are children stealing the lunchboxes from each other, abused children because they ate the food they were for the other little boy. There are invested family roles, parents who commit suicide because they do not feel able to buy enough food and, at the neighborhood level, the problem of hunger caused a huge break between us," explains Susana Raffalli, nutritionist specializing in food security management, humanitarian emergencies and disaster risk, a member of caritas Venezuela's team of researchers.
The Venezuelan government gained opportunities to direct their incomes in a good investment to improve the economy and the way many Venezuelans live today, it is the cause of government mismanage, many children will grow up with psychological, physical, moral damage, never forget what they have experienced in this crisis, and generations who follow it will suffer the same consequences until there is a stop.
Many children today die, without having the possibility of improving their future, not knowing if they could have been good people or changed the world, some of them do not even reach the year of birth, and all because of the scarcity, the crisis, the dismay towards new generations and how promising they could have been if they had been cared for as they should have been , many innocent souls lost in a country that needs it most is hope and people who want to change what happens, many lives that are not given importance until you give them names, ages, life situations and tell their unjust stories that no child under any circumstances should live, that is to live in a crisis.
Even those who have to eat and carry a relatively "normal" diet, will live with the consequences that psychological damage leaves on them, the scarcity of water, light, food, all this in the long term leaves sequelae and traumas that, even if the years pass will never be forgotten, because, despite the economic differences in the country, all have suffered equally, low areas, high areas, they will all be marked for life with what it is to live in Venezuela a crisis in every way. Distrust, feelings of inadequacy, frustration for the future and the need to get your family ahead is something that all Venezuelans suffer in their day-to-day lives, regardless of the age or situation in which they live, feeling that life fades into them, hopelessness, sadness, trauma and harm that are not only seen physically, but mentally and morally.
Not everything is bad.
Despite what has been experienced, there are still good-hearted Venezuelans seeking to help others, there are more than 2000 humanitarian organizations outside the government seeking to help children, recover them from this living, and give them a chance to go out into the world and explore, not die at just months of birth or years.
There are humanitarian canteens, people who donate, companies that sponsor meals for people, not all humanity in Venezuela is lost, and there is still hope and light for those who need it. You can always get out of complicated situations if you have support among people, even if the situation affects the interaction between people, does not affect the good heart that many of them have, it is hoped that one day these children will come to recover and integrate healthily into society, do not get carried away by the easy life, learn and leave the condition in which they did not choose to live, otherwise they were imposed on them.
The hardest thing about this crisis is going to be to get youth going, but it's not impossible and there are still people who are a ray of hope in the midst of all this chaos.