Apply to Join
Nov 5, 2019

Listening to Our Partners and Scholars

Jean Marcos and his mentor Jose
Jean Marcos and his mentor Jose

Translation to Spanish at the bottom

As part of the beginning of the new academic year September 2019 - July 2020, members of the board of directors and a group of mentors from Fundación Oportunidad y Futuro visited the Instituto Universitario Jesús Obrero - IUJO, IUJO is an institution that is part of the organization Fe y Alegría and is located in Catia, a populated low income neighborhood to the west of Caracas, where in addition to the Instituto Universitario, there is a primary school and a high school from which the vast majority of the Instituto Universitario students come from.

From October 2015 to September 2019, a total of 42 IUJO students have been awarded scholarships by Fundación Oportunidad y Futuro:

  • 16 active students: 5 in Education, 6 Technicians in Electronics, 4 Technicians in Computer Science and 1 Technician in Electrical Engineering.
  • 12 students have already graduates as technicians.
  • 14 students have dropped out, most of them to emigrate to other countries looking for better opportunities. 

During the visit we had the opportunity to participate in a School Council. In the meeting, held by the institute at the beginning and end of each semester,  we were able to share with representatives of the educational community of IUJO (management, administrative staff, teachers and workers) and with the great majority of our students.

In this meeting we were able to hear firsthand the difficulties that the institution, the teachers and the students are going through. During their interventions, our students expressed their concerns, not only during their time as students but also about their future as professionals, especially in the search for their first job. We listened attentively to each case and Oportunidad y Futuro, through its mentors, will do its best to support them in this process.

We were able to understand the scope of the training given at IUJO, where an excellent academic training is complemented, through workshops, lectures, sports and extracurricular activities, with a human training whose main objective is to train young professionals to become the leaders Venezuela needs for its economic, political and social recovery.

Once the meeting was over, we had the chance to share and talk with all the participants, and before we left, to take a tour of this school wonderful facilities which are, without a doubt, an oasis in this populated area where the educational needs go well beyond what the city has to offer.


Version en Castellano

En el marco del inicio del nuevo período académico septiembre 2019 - julio 2020, miembros de la junta directiva y un grupo de tutores de la Fundación Oportunidad y Futuro realizó una visita al Instituto Universitario Jesús Obrero - IUJO, institución que forma parte de la organización Fe y Alegría y que está ubicada en el sector de Catia, zona popular ubicada al oeste de Caracas, donde además del Instituto Universitario, funciona una escuela primaria y un liceo del cual proviene la gran mayoría de los estudiantes que luego continúan sus estudios en el Instituto Universitario.

Desde octubre de 2015 y hasta septiembre de 2019, han sido becados por la Fundación Oportunidad y Futuro un total de 42 estudiantes del IUJO distribuidos de la siguiente manera:

o   16 estudiantes activos: 5 en Educación, 6 Técnicos en Electrónica, 4 Técnicos en Informática y 1 Técnico en Electrotecnia.

o   12 estudiantes graduados.

o   14 estudiantes se han retirado, la mayoría para emigrar a otros países buscando mejores oportunidades.

Durante la visita tuvimos la oportunidad de participar en un Concejo Directivo, reunión que realiza el instituto al principio y al final de cada semestre, donde pudimos compartir con representantes de toda la comunidad educativa del IUJO (personal directivo, administrativo, docente y obrero) y con la gran mayoría de nuestros estudiantes.

En este encuentro pudimos escuchar de primera mano las dificultades que están atravesando la institución, los docentes y los estudiantes. Durante las intervenciones nuestros muchachos manifestaron sus inquietudes no sólo en su etapa como estudiantes sino su preocupación sobre su futuro como profesionales, especialmente en la búsqueda de su primer empleo. Escuchamos atentamente cada uno de los casos y la fundación, a través de sus tutores, hará lo que esté a su alcance para apoyarlos en este proceso.

Pudimos comprender el alcance de la formación que se imparte en el IUJO, donde una excelente formación académica se complementa, a través de talleres, charlas, actividades deportivas y extra curriculares, con una formación humana cuyo objetivo fundamental es formar profesionales que se conviertan en los líderes que necesita Venezuela para su recuperación económica, política y social.

Una vez concluida la reunión, tuvimos el chance de compartir y conversar con todos los participantes, y antes de despedirnos, realizar un recorrido por las maravillosas instalaciones de este Instituto Universitario que es, sin duda alguna, un oasis en una zona popular donde las necesidades educativas van más allá de lo que la ciudad les ofrece.

Genesis and her mentor Nayiri
Genesis and her mentor Nayiri
Site Visit to Iujo
Site Visit to Iujo
Site visit to Iujo
Site visit to Iujo
Meeting with Staff and Students
Meeting with Staff and Students
Oct 23, 2019

Food and Love that Heals. Ashlly's Story

Translation to Spanish at the bottom.

Ashlly is 3 years old, she is the youngest of 3 sisters. Her and her family live in the Los Sector

Jardines of the Las Torres neighborhood, in the upper part of La Vega in Caracas. Ashlly goes to school in the El Porvenir de Las Torres Preschool, one of the beneficiary schools

of the program. The goal of this program is to provide balanced food at schools for pre-school children in this vulnerable area of Caracas and keep them out of the risks of malnutrition and school dropout.

But Ashlly is different. Her mother, Mrs. Yulisbet, tells us the her daughter's story:

- At birth she was diagnosed with a myelomeningocele* with spine



*Myelomeningocele is a neural tube defect in which the

Spine bones do not form fully during the

gestation. This causes an incomplete spinal canal. The

spinal cord and meninges, which are the tissues that cover the

spinal cord, protrude from the child's back. It should be noted

that myelomeningocele can cause other disorders

congenital or birth defects in children who suffer from it.

Eight out of ten children with myelomeningocele have hydrocephalus,

as is the case with Ashlly.


....When she was 15 days old she went for spine surgery and when she was 18 days olds, the Doctors put a valve that helps drain the fluid from the spine. She started walking just a year ago. I periodically take her for neurosurgery control at the Domingo Luciani Hospital in El Llanito. On the other hand, I take her everyday to the Child Development Center in Montalbán to receive three types of therapies: language, stimulation and occupation.


-What is Ashlly's current medical situation?

- Well, so far what the therapists have told me that she has a small psychomotor delay that makes it hard to adapt and capture things. I take her to therapies everyday and we are waiting to see if you can go to a normal school or if you should go to a special school. She wears diapers and it is yet unknown if she will be able to leave them. Shee also needs a splint and requires a brain test that I have been unable to afford: an encephalogram (EEG).


- Has it help her to come to school?

- Yes, a lot. She likes to come to school very much. Her therapists have told me that it is very beneficial for her. For instance, while coming here has learned to eat alone.

She is now able to dress and interact a lot with the children.

He likes to use color books. She has learned a lot, a lot. She already knows most colors. Also, by coming to school she receives a balance diet that has greatly benefited her development and evolution.  Additionally, this is of great financial help for me. I am unable to work fulltime as I am her caregiver and need to take her every day to therapy.


- What do you think about this program that benefits Ashlly and all the children of El Porvenir Preschool?

- The Program is very good because our children benefit by getting daily meals in such difficult financial hardship for everyone. It helps all moms a lot. For example, I had to quit a full time job, as I am her primary caregiver. So, combining the independence and encouragement by coming to school with her daily meals is an invaluable help.


- What would you say to those who support this program?

- Thank you very much and continue helping, because this is of great help. They deserve an applause, a medal, and not just for the nutritional program, but for other recreational activities that children receive as well. When the Foundation took the children to the movies, Aslly went and enjoyed it. She also enjoyed the recreational activities of the vacation plan in August. Even though she could not ride in the inflatable mattress and stuff, she enjoyed a lot, she painted, ate. She came back home very happy that day. With all my heart thank you very much.


The main objective of the Nutrition Program “Una Arepa Para Mi País” is that preschoolers in one of the most vulnerable areas of Caracas do not dropout from school due to hunger. However, children like Ashlly require support that goes beyond the reach of this program. Due to her condition, she   requires medical tests that her mother can't afford. Despite that, and as Ashlly’s mom indicated during this interview, the benefits of attending school are significant for her child in addition to financial support of receiving meals at school. Therefore, staying in school allows her to evolve more and better in this difficult situation.


Traduccion al Castellano 

Ashlly tiene 3 añitos, es la menor de 3 hermanas. Viven en el Sector Los Jardines del barrio Las Torres, en la parte alta de La Vega. Estudia en el Preescolar El Porvenir de Las Torres, una de las instituciones beneficiarias del Programa “Una Arepa Para Mi País, a través del cual se brinda alimentación balanceada en sus centros educativos a niños en edad preescolar de zonas vulnerables, con la finalidad de mantenerlos fuera de los riesgos de la desnutrición y de la deserción escolar.

Pero Ashlly es diferente. Su madre, la señora Yulisbet, nos cuenta la historia de su hija:

- Al nacer fue diagnosticada con un mielomeningocele con espina bífida.

(El mielomeningocele es un defecto del tubo neural en el cual los huesos de la columna no se forman totalmente durante la gestación. Esto provoca un conducto raquídeo incompleto. La médula espinal y las meninges, que son los tejidos que cubren la médula espinal, sobresalen de la espalda del niño. Cabe destacar que el mielomeningocele puede ocasionar otros trastornos congénitos o defectos de nacimiento en los niños que lo padecen. Ocho de cada diez niños con mielomeningocele tienen hidrocefalia, como es el caso de Ashlly.)

…A los 15 días de nacida la operaron de la columna y a los 18 le pusieron una válvula que la ayuda a drenar el líquido de la columna. Caminó apenas hace un año. La llevo periódicamente a control de neurocirugía y neuropediatría en el Hospital Domingo Luciani de El Llanito. Por otra parte, la llevo todos al Centro de Desarrollo Infantil de Montalbán a recibir tres tipos de terapias: de lenguaje, de estimulación y de ocupación.

-¿Cuál es la situación médica actual de Ashlly?

- Bueno hasta los momentos lo que me han dicho los terapeutas es que tiene un pequeño retraso psicomotor que hace que le cueste adaptarse y captar las cosas. Yo la llevo a las terapias y estamos esperando a ver si puede ir a un colegio normal o si debe ir a un colegio especial. Ella usa pañales y no se sabe aún si los va a dejar. Además necesita una férula y requiere un estudio en su cabeza que no se lo he podido pagar: un encefalograma.

-¿Le ha hecho bien permanecer en la escuela?

- Sí Mucho. Le gusta venir mucho para acá. Los terapeutas me afirman que es muy beneficioso para ella así ella se va adaptando. Imagínate el venir para acá me le ha enseñado a comer sola, bueno he visto cosas en ella que ha avanzado bastante. Ella no se vestía sola, ya se viste sola, ya come sola, interactúa mucho con los niños, le gusta colorear, todo eso. Ha aprendido mucho, bastante. Ya se sabe la mayoría de los colores. Que ella siga viniendo a su escuela y recibiendo sus alimentos le ha beneficiado enormemente a su desarrollo y evolución. Aparte que me ayuda enormemente a mí que no trabajo porque debo llevarla todos los días a terapia.

- ¿Qué le parece el programa Una Arepa Para Mi País que beneficia a Ashlly y a todos los niños del Preescolar El Porvenir?

- El Programa es muy bueno porque nuestros niños se benefician de los alimentos en momentos tan difíciles para todos. Nos ayuda mucho a las mamás. Por ejemplo yo me tuve que retirar del trabajo, yo no trabajo porque debo dedicarle todo el tiempo a ella. Pero la independencia y estímulo que le ha brindado estar acá, más los alimentos es una ayuda incalculable.

- ¿Qué les dirías a los miembros de la fundación que hacen posible el programa “Una Arepa Para Mi País”, a los embajadores de la arepa, esos venezolanos que están fuera del país buscando recursos para el programa, y a los donantes?

- Que muchas gracias y que sigan luchando por su país, porque esuna gran ayuda. Se merecen un aplauso, una medalla, y no sólo por el programa nutricional, sino todas las demás actividades recreativas que nos han brindado. Cuando la Fundación llevó los niños al cine, Aslly fue y lo disfrutó. También disfrutó las actividades recreativas del plan vacacional en agosto, aunque ella no se pudo montar en el colchón inflable y esas cosas, disfrutó mucho, la pintaron, comió de todo, ella regresó muy contenta. De todo corazón muchas gracias.


El principal objetivo del Programa Nutricional “Una Arepa Para Mi País” es que los niños en edad preescolar de las zonas más vulnerables no dejen de asistir a sus escuelas por falta de comida. Sin embargo, niños como Ashlly necesitan un apoyo que va más allá del alcance de un programa nutricional, pues su condición especial amerita estudios médicos periódicos costosos que su madre no puede pagar. A pesar de eso, y como ella misma lo afirmó en la entrevista, los beneficios del Programa son excelentes para ella pues, además de verse aliviada del peso de la alimentación de Ashlly, seguir estando en su escuela le permite evolucionar más y mejor en su difícil situación.

Ashlly with her Mom
Ashlly with her Mom
Aug 12, 2019


Mariana with her family
Mariana with her family

October 24, 2015 marked a key milestone date for our partnership with the Universidad Metropolitana de Caracas-UNIMET. On that day, at the Don Bosco School in Altamira (birthplace of the Fundación Oportunidad y Futuro), ten of the fourteen UNIMET students who had be granted a scholarship, signed an agreement that would grant them a full scholarship. This also would allow them to study under the tutelage of their mentors who would guide and advise them throughout their education.

In July of this year, three of them defended their degree thesis, and received a Certificate of Completion that accredits them as professionals and allows them to practice in their respective areas of work. After four years of hard work they became engineering professionals, eager to work, progress and contribute to the future and reconstruction of our country.

The formal graduation ceremony will be in February 2020 and they will officially receive their diploma as Chemical Engineer, Systems Engineer and Mechanical Engineer respectively.

In addition to them, there are six students who this academic year 2018-2019 successfully completed their college education. The other three are Fernando and Asly who graduated with a degree in Education at the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello - UCAB and Moisés who graduated in Language Therapy at the Instituto Venezolano de Audición y Lenguaje - IVAL (Venezuelan Institute of Hearing and Language - IVAL).

What follows is a summary of the three UNIMET scholars future plans. Once their thesis were approved, they were able to take the iconic pictures with their family and friends next to “EL SAMÁN”, the centenary tree that symbolizes their Alma Maters.

Name: Mariana Carolina

University: Universidad Metropolitana - UNIMET

Starting date: October 2015

Graduation date: July 2019

Degree: Chemical Engineer

Her Future: On August 1, 2019 Mariana began an internship at Valmy Cosmetics, a Venezuelan company, with 45 years in the pioneering market in the manufacture and marketing of beauty and personal care products, where she serves as Inspector of Quality Control of the production line in the manufacturing plant.

Name: José Roberto

University: Universidad Metropolitana - UNIMET

Starting date: October 2017

Graduation date: July 2019

Degree: Systems Engineer

His Future: He is currently starting with three friends, young people like him, a venture in Venezuela in the technological area, developing a platform to make electronic payments in foreign currency. He tells us that at the moment he has no plans to leave the country and according to his textual words: "Here I stay, betting on the country".

Name: José Alejandro

University: Universidad Metropolitana - UNIMET

Starting date: October 2015

Graduation date: July 2019

Degree: Mechanical Engineer

His Future: José Alejandro finished his university studies with honors and his future plans include the completion of a postgraduate degree abroad, which he would be planning for the next academic year, once he receives his diploma accrediting him as Mechanical Engineer.

Mariana with her mentor in October 2015
Mariana with her mentor in October 2015
Jose Roberto with his friends
Jose Roberto with his friends
Jose Alejandro with his family
Jose Alejandro with his family
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.