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Transcript of “I never imagined that so many people would be leaving the country” - Isbel’s testimonial

It's extremely cold in the mountains.

When we were heading out to walk, people told me to have my children wear three layers, to have them wear a hat because it was very cold and many children had died there in the past.

We were very scared because we weren't used to the cold.

I never imagined that so many people would be leaving the country, and that I'd see my children stop playing, stop drawing and start saying:

“Mommy, we ran out of flour. Mommy, we ran out of rice. Mommy, the aid package is coming.”

My children went an entire day, 24 hours, without eating. For me, as a mother, it wasn't easy. My son Jeremias was hospitalized with malnutrition.  He weighed 7 kilos at age 3. He was going to die.

If things were to get better in my country, I would like to go back home, to my country. To be there with my children, so that they can go to school and live their lives and have a childhood like the one I had, a tranquil childhood.

Recording courtesy of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

Transcript of “I really do it out of love and conviction” - Marta’s testimonial

One night, I saw people taking refuge under the cover of the small bridge in front of my house.

It was raining and very cold. It occurred to me that we could offer them to stay in our garage, where we keep the car. We got some plastic tarps, some mats and blankets and invited people over.

My living room, dining room and kitchen have all disappeared. There are so many people, and we have to use the whole house so no woman or child is left outside in the cold.

We haven’t had a day off. We’re at it all year long.

What motivates me the most is seeing the children, very young and vulnerable children, women who have just given birth, women with premature or sick babies, girls travelling with children. And seeing that no one lends them a hand, no one gives them any food. To me, that’s outrageous as many people have the means to help, but they don’t.

I don't see this as a sacrifice of any kind. I really do it out of love and conviction. If one day they’re no longer here, I think I’ll feel a little lonely.

Recording courtesy of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

Transcript of “I don’t want to put my daughter at risk. That is why I took her out of Venezuela” - Fabiana’s testimonial

It’s not easy telling your mom and your dad that you’re leaving. They are worried about us. They often send us messages. We always tell them “We’re fine, we’re fine,” to avoid creating more stress for them.

It’s not easy. Especially since I never thought I would leave my country. Never.

I have been travelling for 10 days. We’ve eaten just crackers, bread, crackers, bread.

If you’ve set yourself a goal, an objective, you have to achieve it. Of course, without putting anyone at risk in the process, especially my daughter. That is what I want to avoid, I don’t want to put my daughter at risk. That is why I took her out of Venezuela.

Recording courtesy of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

Transcript of “When we laugh, we laugh together” - Jose’s testimonial

The situation forced me to make this decision and leave Venezuela. There was no other option.

I chose San Gil because of the current job opportunities in the coffee industry. From here, we’ll see how things go.

When I decided to come here, I took a bus to San Antonio. From there, I succeeded in crossing the border to Colombia and began my journey on foot.

 I’ve never left my home. I’ve never left my family. To make the decision from one day to another was not easy.

When you're walking, one step means you want to quit. Another step means your family is encouraging to move forward.

It’s not easy. It's not easy to become a migrant from another country and to live through this.

Thank God, my walking companions and I have supported each other. When we laugh, we laugh together. When we cry, we cry together. When we need support, we support each other. We are like brothers.

If one stops, we all stop, if one continues, we all continue. If one gets sick, we all get sick.

We do more than just accompany each other, we are a sort of family.

Thanks to this humanitarian point, you have helped us a lot. I think that without this humanitarian point, without you lending us a hand, we wouldn't have reached this point. We wouldn’t have been able to.

Recording courtesy of IOM, the International Organization for Migration

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