Wilfredo worked as a teacher in Venezuela before the cost of living became too high. He and his family had to move to Colombia, where they now live in an informal settlement.
Wilfredo struggled to find work and a steady income to support his young children, and ended up receiving a cash grant from Save the Children. He says that the help could not have arrived at a better time for the family. “We were really in a moment of need. This assistance helped us so much in that moment.”
Things started to change for the better in early 2019, when Wilfredo noticed a Save the Children tent – what he has now come to learn is a child-friendly space (CFS) – in his community. “When I first learned of Save the Children…I was first interested because of the work they do. When I saw that they were working with children, and I passed by and I saw the activities, it called to me,” he says. “One day, I saw a vacancy for the role of a CFS tutor, so I followed all of the steps to apply.”
“Working as a tutor, it feels very satisfying to me,” Wilfredo shares. “I have observed very directly the situation that is happening here.”
Now, he says, you can see the difference plain as day in the children as they arrive in Colombia. “You see their faces…and you feel pain. It hurts to know how they lived before,” Wilfredo says. “Humble but happy, with all the hope in the world…but they had to migrate, to move themselves to a new place they do not know, without hope most of the time…They absorb all of this experience and emotionally it is difficult for them.”
That’s why the time spent in the CFS is crucial for these children, Wilfredo says. “For a moment - for the time that they are in the child-friendly space, at least - they can be distracted from the challenging situation that they are living through, the tough things that are happening to them.”