EN LAS NOTICIAS

Migración venezolana contada 1.700 veces a puño y letra

Douglas Lyon, médico y veterano cooperante de Médicos Sin Fronteras (MSF), comenzó ofreciendo un cuaderno en blanco a los desplazados de Venezuela que llegaban a Colombia para que escribieran su historia. Ya ha recogido miles de ellos, un testimonio muy valioso de la diáspora y de gran valor terapéutico

Quarterly Report: Analysis of Testimonies of Venezuelan Caminantes/Refugees August through October 2021; Norte de Santander, Colombia

Colleagues and Friends,
 
Attached you will find an analysis of hand written testimonies collected from Venezuelan refugees along the route from the Colombian-Venezuelan border (Cucuta) to the interior of Colombia (Bucaramanga).  We collected 271 testimonies over the three month beginning of August 1 and ending October 31, 2021 (this follows on our previous three month report May — July  2021).   These testimonies were read aloud in small group settings (workshops) where key themes, key phrases and observations of the readers were identified and entered into a database. 
 
Our sampling is semi-random in that we were present and seeking writers 4 out of 7 days a week  and we’d approach and pass our ‘testimony collection books’ to those that expressed an interest in writing.   Given the breadth of our sampling and our open-ended request to writers —  ‘We’d like to hear the story you would tell your friend, your mother, your father a brother a sister.   It’s important the world hears what is going on, that your story is not lost… forgotten,’  ….. we believe that our report is an accurate reflection of the situation and story of the ‘most vulnerable’ leaving Venezuela. 
 
The analysis portion of this document should take about the same time to finish as a good cup of coffee or tea – 3 pages.    We have included sections of original source material, 20 + pages  — select phrases, observations of readers at our workshops, and a collection of transcribed testimonies.  As stated in our bylaws, we exist to make this material available to others … United Nations,  Humanitarian  organizations, the press and academic institutions. 
 
This remains a document in two languages  — methodology and analysis in English and phrases and testimonies in Spanish.  This next week we will complete a version that is all in Spanish.  We hope to identify resources to assist with the larger leap — an all English version with soulful translations of phrases and testimonies.  
 
As noted in our report, it’s our hope that this work shines a light on this crisis affecting tens of millions of Venezuelans (> 6 million refugees),   and sets an example of how to ‘listen well, listen carefully and share the story of the most vulnerable.’
 
A special thanks to the dozens of volunteers who have given of their time to collect and analyze stories  —  p, their only reward — companionship, a good meal and mission. We’d also like to recognize our colleagues in the UN and multiple NGOs for their interest and support —  Samaritan’s Purse,   Medicos sin Fronteras, and  Premiere Urgence.
 
 We welcome your thoughts and comments and we remain keenly available to chat or zoom or skype.
 
Douglas Lyon MD
Board Chair TodoSomos 

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¿Qué Pasa Venezuela?

As a United States-based non-governmental organization (NGO) registered in Colombia, TodoSomos will, through the collection of first person handwritten testimonials by Venezuelan refugees,  create an archive of individuals’ and families’ stories in this crisis – the  exodus and their experience as part of the Venezuelan diáspora.  

The TodoSomos archive will be available to everyone – journalists, aid agencies, donors, researchers, government and United Nations officials, and the general public. On a periodic basis TodoSomos will select, transcribe and translate a selection of the writings that reflect the greater body of work. These selections will be published in bilingual books which will be distributed in print form throughout the Americas and in a digital format online.

Together with population based data, this will shine light on the Venezuelan crisis in a way that will better engage the attention of the global community and in turn  help to insure the needs and voice of ordinary Venezuelans are heard and that they are louder than politicians and powerful special interests. It is our goal to make these voices part of Venezuela’s – indeed, the world’s – historical record.

Our methodology will ensure that those that choose to write will understand our respect for anonymity, the value of handwritten testimony, and the greater purpose of our work in advocacy and creation of a permanent archive.  

This work is important. As of October 2019 the UN estimates that more than 4.5 million Venezuelans have left their country. The majority have crossed on foot through a high Andean mountain pass (3,900m) near Cucuta in Colombia.   Today more than 10,000 Venezuelans make this crossing each month.

As a United States-based non-governmental organization (NGO) registered in Colombia, TodoSomos will, through the collection of first person handwritten testimonials by Venezuelan refugees,  create an archive of individuals’ and families’ stories in this crisis – the  exodus and their experience as part of the Venezuelan diáspora.  

The TodoSomos archive will be available to everyone – journalists, aid agencies, donors, researchers, government and United Nations officials, and the general public. On a periodic basis TodoSomos will select, transcribe and translate a selection of the writings that reflect the greater body of work. These selections will be published in bilingual books which will be distributed in print form throughout the Americas and in a digital format online.

Together with population based data, this will shine light on the Venezuelan crisis in a way that will better engage the attention of the global community and in turn  help to insure the needs and voice of ordinary Venezuelans are heard and that they are louder than politicians and powerful special interests. It is our goal to make these voices part of Venezuela’s – indeed, the world’s – historical record.

Our methodology will ensure that those that choose to write will understand our respect for anonymity, the value of handwritten testimony, and the greater purpose of our work in advocacy and creation of a permanent archive.  

This work is important. As of October 2019 the UN estimates that more than 4.5 million Venezuelans have left their country. The majority have crossed on foot through a high Andean mountain pass (3,900m) near Cucuta in Colombia.   Today more than 10,000 Venezuelans make this crossing each month.

You can support TodoSomos by donating here:

Observations of the story collectors

We began our first book in a refugio in Pamplona

There, night after night
we were touched by your thoughtful silence as we ask for your help

We have seen you moved by your written words

We have seen … you,
we have seen them …. your words,
when you look us in the eye
and taking our hand in a firm grip, you declare…
‘Thank You… someone has to know, someone must listen, must hear our story …’