In the face of such significant challenges, the Turimiquire Foundation’s essential healthcare and education services are a lifeline for the people of Sucre state.

There’s a dire humanitarian crisis ongoing in Venezuela, in which environmental defenders are killed and thousands of people are emigrating out of the country every month. 95% of people are living in poverty and 80% of Venezuelan households are experiencing food insecurity due to scarcity, closures, high costs and lack of access to water, gas and electricity. Acute malnutrition is on the rise, most impacting children under five and pregnant women from rural areas.

Established in 1997, Turimiquire focuses on family planning and education as well as sustainable livelihoods and agroecological community development. They know that the first and crucial step towards meaningful women’s empowerment is to ensure that families have the means to control their fertility.

The ability to plan one’s family is a basic human right, and yet in Venezuela, contraceptive methods are often unavailable due to shortages across the country, especially in rural areas. Over the past few years, including in the capital Caracas, there has been an a scarcity of implants, IUDs and the pill, as well as emergency contraception. While contraceptives are now more widely available, often their cost is inaccessible due to rising inflation. Turimiquire partners with a local pharmacy chain to provide low-cost contraceptives to low-income families.

In each sexual and reproductive health workshop, I see young people overcoming taboos and imposed sociocultural norms. For those young people who have already started having sexual relations, our workshops provide them with the tools to do so in a healthy, voluntary and responsible way, making use of contraceptive methods. This allows them to continue with their life plans, pursue their dreams and improve their quality of life as well as their relationship with the natural world.

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With Empower to Plan funding, Turimiquire will be able to extend their services by offering:

The organisation is committed to growing their services by bringing more men on board in their family planning and sex education programmes. A component of the workshops will include raising awareness about vasectomy procedures and discussing the importance of men taking responsibility for family planning alongside their partners.

By engaging young women and men as local Turimiquire ambassadors, the team will create a network of educated youth committed to supporting sexual and reproductive rights and raising awareness about the benefits of reducing demographic pressure on the local environment.

The organisation also focuses on environmentally-sensitive community development, introducing low-impact utilities like solar electricity and gravity water systems. They promote ecological agriculture, tree permaculture, and reforestation, generating tools and self-sustaining employment for an enduring rural future, both in the Turimiquire valley where they work, as well as across the whole region.

For the Turimiquire Foundation, the first critical step in reaching marginalised urban and rural communities is through education and outreach. Once young people are engaged in family planning and sexual and reproductive health, the uptake of family planning services increases and both the community and natural environment benefit.

Will you join us in breaking the cycle of poverty for Venezuelan families? By engaging young people on reproductive health and family planning, we are supporting Turimiquire’s recipe for a thriving community and following a tried and tested method for building a better future.

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