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International Partnerships
Project

From displacement to integration: building productive and protective communities in Peru and Ecuador

Houses of people living under poverty line in Latin America
Many Venezuelan migrants live below the poverty line

Peru and Ecuador are, after Colombia, the second and third preferred destinations for those fleeing Venezuela’s political and economic crisis. Peru hosts 1.2 million refugees and migrants, and Ecuador hosts over half a million.

These Venezuelan populations lack educational and employment opportunities. Due to their poor economic conditions, they face stigmatisation, discrimination and xenophobia.

This project seeks to rebuild education and employment opportunities for at-risk migrants and reduce the discrimination they face. It is being undertaken by a consortium of 5 local and international partners and is being implemented through funding provided by the EU Lives in Dignity (LiD) Grant Facility.

Scope and objectives

This project targets the regions of Piura, Lambayeque and La Libertad in the north of Peru and in regions in the south of Ecuador.

In Peru, 94% of migrants work in the informal sector and less than half earn enough to meet basic needs. In Ecuador, the average monthly income of Venezuelan families is US$50.2, lower than the national extreme poverty line. A lack of family resources is the main reason for high school dropout rates among migrant children. These children often end up begging or working as street vendors. Without access to decent work, social security, healthcare and education, Venezuelans in these regions are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse by criminal gangs, especially women and members of the LGBTIQ community.

They are also subject to significant discrimination and xenophobia. Due to their often-catastrophic economic conditions, Venezuelans have become associated with words such as "threat" or "crime", because they come to "steal jobs". This criminalization of Venezuelan migrants is both sanctioned and strongly influenced by political and media discourse. This has led to the Venezuelan community being subject to violent outbreaks, which have even led to the deaths of several migrants in Ecuador.

The project will address this situation in 3 ways. Firstly, it will focus on education, ensuring access to education for young people and opening the door to university education for those who are able.

Secondly, the project will develop livelihoods, certifying the skills that people already have, offering technical training to increase employability, and developing work opportunities through the incubation of new economic initiatives. The increased income for families will reduce the need for young people to work, freeing them up to pursue an education.

Finally, the project team will train authorities, service providers and teachers to facilitate the entry (or re-entry) of youth affected by displacement into the education system. This project is underpinned by a ‘community protection approach’ methodology and the development of community protection mechanisms. 

Expected results

Increased income generation and livelihood opportunities

  • 550 women and LGBTIQ people affected by displacement or survivors of gender-based violence or in a state of poverty and 50 men affected by displacement in a situation of poverty have a job or other sources of income 3months after receiving help from the project
  • 300 women and LGBTIQ people affected by displacement or survivors of gender-based violence or in a situation of poverty benefit from vocational training or skills development programmes
  • 522 women and LGBTIQ people affected by displacement or survivors of gender-based violence or in a situation of poverty and 47 men affected by displacement in a situation of poverty obtain formal recognition and accreditation of work skills and competencies
  • 522 women and LGBTIQ people affected by displacement or survivors of gender-based violence or in a situation of poverty and 47 men affected by displacement in a situation of poverty find employment with the assistance of the project
  • a research paper published to strengthen institutional capacity and increase the autonomy of people affected by displacement    
  • at least 30 meetings with stakeholders held to advocate for the access of displacement-affected persons to technical/professional training and decent work

Increased access to quality and integrated basic services

  • a research paper published to help improve access of people affected by displacement to basic services
  • 400 educators, service providers and public officials (50% women) receive training to address the specific needs of people affected by displacement
  • 600 educators (50% women) report having acquired new skills or knowledge.
  • 300 children (50% girls) gain access to the national primary education system in the previous 12 months
  • 300 adolescents (50% female) gain access to the national secondary education system in the previous 12 months    
  • 8 000 displacement-affected students have access to water, sinks, soap and towels    

Increased sense of security and the realisation of human rights

  • a research paper published to improve institutional capacity to grant or improve access of people affected by displacement to services and protection mechanisms
  • 1 000 people (50% women) participate in or attend support or media programmes aimed at combatting discrimination against displaced people
  • 10 000 people affected by displacement reached through support programmes or the media to inform them of mechanisms that protect them from physical and psychological violence
  • 1 000 people affected by displacement (50 of whom are women and 20% of whom are minors) referred to protection services that are appropriate to their needs
  • 1 000 victims of human rights violations (50 of whom are women and 20% of whom are minors) receive assistance.
  • 320 service providers, authorities and public officials, 30 people from the Neighborhood Councils of Peru, 30 people from the 10 civil society organisations involved in this project trained to address the specific needs of people affected by displacement
  • 1 000 people affected by displacement linked to the ‘Community protection approach’ platform
  • 5 response and protection plans (one for each targeted locality) created

Context

The EU-UNOPS Lives in Dignity Grant Facility was founded in 2020. The facility aims to promote development-oriented approaches and solutions to new, recurrent and protracted displacement crises. It funds innovative projects that support the resilience of communities and empower their members through livelihoods and basic services, making a concrete difference in the lives of displaced people.

This project is being undertaken in partnership between 5 national and international partners. ChildFund Ecuador and We World Peru are member partners of the ChildFund Alliance, a global alliance of 12 development organisations with experience responding to complex migration crises, dedicated to assisting children. UNESCO Peru, IDEHPUCP Peru and the Universidad del Azuay in Ecuador have significant on-the-ground experience in the region, backgrounds in migration, education and training issues, and solid capacities for political advocacy at different levels. This project was selected because it offers a strong multi-country approach that focuses on the protection of rights. The involvement of displacement-affected communities leading to participatory construction of protection routes and community protection platforms is indicative of the community-empowerment focus of many Lives in Dignity-funded projects.

Implementing organisations

  • ChildFund International USA-ECUADOR
  • Universidad del Azuay – Ecuador
  • Instituto de Democracia y Derechos Humanos - Pontificia Universidad Católica de Perú – Lima (IDEHPUCP) – Peru
  • UNESCO