A challenging journey
Isabella is 8 years old and came to Peru with her mother, Sheilyn, and her younger brother, Rayner, who is 3 years old, from Barranquilla, Colombia.
I decided to leave my country in 2016 due to the economic situation. There was not enough to eat, and the salary didn’t suffice. Sometimes, a day would go by with just a piece of bread and water, or we would eat just one arepa. That wasn’t what I wanted for my childrenSheilyn, Isabella’s mother
Before leaving Venezuela, Isabella’s mother worked as a cashier in a supermarket and in shoe stores during the holiday season while also pursuing her studies.
Later, Isabella and her mother traveled to Barranquilla, where Rayner and Raynelis, their younger siblings, were born. After living in Colombia for 5 years, Sheilyn decided to come to Peru, embarking on a long journey during which she fell victim to theft. However, as soon as they arrived in Peru, their family in Callao provided support.
Seeking economic stability
Upon settling in Callao, Isabella and Rayner accompanied their mother in selling candies at traffic lights.
I went with them every day, in winter, we endured the cold, and in summer, the heat. Isabella told me that she didn’t want to continue anymore, and I understand her because I didn’t study to be on the streets”Sheilyn, Isabella’s mother
Currently, Sheilyn has started a business selling cakes and desserts and is studying pastry at an institute. She also has a client base that places orders through social media.
One day, Isabella returned from school with intense knee pain. As the days passed, the pain didn’t subside, so Sheilyn and her daughter went to Carrión Hospital, where several tests confirmed Isabella’s diagnosis: Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease, which affects the development of her hip, causing her significant pain and preventing her from running and jumping.
felt very bad because I loved Physical Education. I would love to have my leg well, to be able to play and run.Isabella
Sheilyn learned about Save the Children through a WhatsApp contact who informed her about a health campaign by the organization. With the cash health support, Sheilyn could pay for her daughter’s consultations at Carrión Hospital, as well as X-rays, laboratory tests, and transportation.
Subsequently, Isabella was referred to the Children’s Hospital of Breña, where her case is currently awaiting treatment.
The doctor told us that her condition is advanced, in a healing period. He says that for now, there is no need for surgery because it looks fine, and the worst is behind us. But they will do hydrotherapy to strengthen the bone.Sheilyn, Isabella’s mother
Isabella: an admirer of supergirl
Isabella is a child who dislikes injustices and is very generous towards others.
When we worked at the traffic lights, another person would be working, and Isabella wanted to take a coin from her bag to help them, and I would tell her that we were in the same situation. If it were up to her, she would have nothing left to help.Sheilyn, Isabella’s mother
Her favorite superhero is Supergirl, and she wishes she had Supergirl’s powers of laser vision, flight, and strength. What she admires most about Supergirl is that she always saves the world from villains.
Isabella dreams of becoming a police officer when she grows up so she can catch thieves in the city.
In the future, I would like my family to be safe and nothing bad happens to them. I would like us to be in a healthy country where there are no thieves because there are some bad people who steal children and like to deceive them.Isabella
About the project
The project “A Path to Integration” has been implemented by Save the Children with the support of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM) as part of the response to the Venezuelan migration crisis that began in 2018. To date, over 3,470 people have received cash health support, which has helped them pay for consultations, auxiliary tests, and transportation. Similarly, 1,269 children and adolescents have benefited from the health component of the project.
This intervention aims to provide humanitarian assistance and social integration for Venezuelan children and families who were forced to leave their country due to the severe economic crisis. The project’s main areas of focus include psychosocial support for protection, nutrition and health, livelihoods through skills development for entrepreneurship or employment, and humanitarian aid to cover minimum expenses for food, housing, and shelter for the family. In 2020, the transition to sustainable inclusion and integration for migrant families began.