Love Transcends Borders: Francisca’s story
Colombia – June 4 2024

Love Transcends Borders: Francisca’s story

"We came because of my children," Francisca* says, her words echoing the universal sentiment of parents seeking a better future for their children. A Venezuelan mother of three, Francisca has lived in the settlement of La Pista in Maicao, Colombia for three years, trying to navigate the challenges of building a new life for her young family.

A journey of love and resilience

Francisca's decision to migrate was fueled by a mother's love and a deep-rooted desire for her children's well-being. In Caracas, she struggled to find decent work and adequately feed her children. Every step of their journey was a venture into the unknown, marked by uncertainty—a narrative familiar to countless families affected by the Venezuelan migration crisis.

But, over time, they began weaving a new life, where they discovered the profound truth that love for family is everything.

Love as the guiding light

Francisca encountered many obstacles, particularly related to caring for her children. And it was during this tumultuous period that the intervention of SOS Children’s Villages social workers brought a transformative shift to her family's dynamics. The family-strengthening project they introduced became a beacon of support, offering guidance on patience, communication, and understanding.

According to Francisca, participating in family-strengthening workshops has had a positive impact on the way she relates to her children and partner. Her children’s relationship with their father has also strengthened, fostering play and more quality time together. For Francisca, the key lessons learned revolve around the importance of parental presence, communication and resolving issues through love rather than violence.

The resilience of strong families

The challenges faced by families affected by migration are diverse and multifaceted--arriving in a new place, establishing a sense of belonging, navigating work opportunities and securing basic rights. In response, SOS Children’s Villages’ humanitarian assistance projects aim to strengthen families and communities, emphasizing the protection and integration of children, adolescents and families.

Francisca encourages other families: "I tell families to love each other, to love each other very much, to love their children. In the morning, in the afternoon, in the day, and at night, give them a hug, a kiss because children are unique, and family is the most beautiful thing."

SOS projects in action

In Colombia, SOS Children’s Villages extend humanitarian assistance to the refugee and migrant population from Venezuela across multiple regions. From La Guajira to Santander, their efforts have reached approximately 71,000 people between 2020 and 2022. The focus remains on comprehensive protection services, especially for vulnerable groups such as children, adolescents, pregnant and nursing mothers and families at high risk of separation.

Services include preventing child-family separation, providing family-like care to unaccompanied or separated children, and reinforcing families and communities through positive parenting and protective environments for children. The overarching message remains clear: love and family are the cornerstones of resilience in the face of adversity.

*Name changed for privacy

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