As the world obsesses over the power struggle for Venezuela’s presidency, most Venezuelans are worried about something else: “Will my children eat today?”
That is what Isabella has been asking herself for months, and her story will break your heart.
Isabella’s son recently died of starvation … and now she is terrified she will lose her other two children if help doesn’t arrive soon.
Isabella, whose name I’ve changed to protect her, was in tears as she told us about her 14-year-old son. In his final days, he was so skinny that his bones poked through his skin. She hates that she couldn’t save him. And she hates that she feels just as powerless to feed her two daughters.
Like many other mothers in Venezuela, there’s not much she can do to keep her children alive. She and her husband used to have a thriving business producing school uniforms. They lived comfortably with all of their needs met. Then, the economy crashed. The price of food and other basic necessities doubled every few weeks.
They had to start selling their possessions just to make ends meet. First, they sold their company’s machinery … then their cars … and eventually their house, so they could eat. But it wasn’t enough.
It’s clear Isabella’s daughters and many other children won’t survive unless they receive food soon.
Emergency aid was blocked from entering the country in February and tear gas was even fired into the crowd of families eagerly awaiting this aid. Many families were counting on that food, but they were soon back where they started — starving.
Since then, the Venezuelan government has agreed to allow some humanitarian aid into the country, but there is still a critical need for more.
Our organization, World Help, has partners working on the ground to provide food and other essentials. I’m not overstating it when I say that this food is literally helping save lives.
So as you watch the Venezuelan crisis unfolding on the news, I’m asking you to stop right now and do two things: pray for the people of Venezuela and give if you can to provide food and other lifesaving supplies to people like Isabella and her girls.
Vernon Brewer is the founder and CEO of World Help, a Christian humanitarian organization serving the physical and spiritual needs of people in impoverished communities around the world. Follow him @vernonbrewer.
Read more at Venezuela: One of the world’s most volatile countries.