Helping Vulnerable Children in South America’s Dangerous Migration Route

SOUTH AMERICA— Despite the dangers of the Darién jungle, it has become a popular route for migrants from Central and South America seeking to reach the United States. Among the numerous challenges faced by walkers are exposure to diseases, injuries, violence, extortion, forced recruitment, and more.Christian charity World Vision is helping the most vulnerable passing through this dangerous migration route including many children.

There’s growing concern for the many thousands of vulnerable children passing through one of the world’s toughest migration routes in South America. Last year alone, over 520,000 people crossed the Darién Gap, the border between Colombia and Panama, with many hoping to start a new life in the United States.

At least 20% of these migrants are vulnerable children who are malnourished and in danger of being trafficked.

Fabiola Rueda with Christian charity World Vision in Venezuela says their support for these many young lives is vital:

They’re very vulnerable to assault, to forced labor, their forced to do robberies, sometimes even death. We do provide basic protection services. We provide hygiene kits, we provide toys because the level of trauma for someone that has crossed the Darien Gap is so high. The children even forget how to pray. Even some children forget how to speak.

As well as helping vulnerable children World Vision says their long-term hope is to prevent this escalating border crisis by educating families not to cross the Darien Gap in the first place.

Read more news on Christian Ministry, Humanitarian Services, Children’s Ministry on Missions Box.

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