Orianny Granado | July 26, 2020 Katherine Martínez has been leading the NGO Prepara Familia for more than 10 years, an organization that was born to provide support to patients and caregivers of JM de los Ríos, today the challenge has become greater, the deficiencies of the Health are increasing and children’s lives are torn between eating or paying for their treatments. On July 19, an atypical children’s day was celebrated in Venezuela, this time there were no parks, movie theaters or recreational spaces arranged to celebrate the date of the little ones, confined for more than four months in homes due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This new reality does not understand needs and deficiencies, as has been demonstrated with the more than 200 patients who live in critical areas of the José Manuel de los Ríos children’s hospital and for whom their reality did not stop with the coronavirus. That is why last Sunday the NGO Prepara Familia organized and looked for a way to commemorate the day of these children and adolescents, who remain hospitalized for various pathologies, and thus take the opportunity to pay tribute to the health personnel. This was explained by Katherine Martínez, director of this organization, responsible for ensuring the rights of patients and caregivers of JM de los Ríos. – On Sunday, July 19, a serenade of Venezuelan music was carried out from the outskirts of the JM de los Ríos hospital to children hospitalized in the oncology, hematology and nephrology services. How did this initiative come about? -Since the pandemic there is no access to the hospital if not for patients who have chronic diseases and require constant treatment, this means that visits are also suspended, and we understand it, so the recreational organizations that go with their beauty They have not been able to go to bring this type of gifts to the children, so for a long time we had been thinking about what we could do.A month ago we came up with this initiative, to serenade the children, we wanted to do it because of the initiative that we have seen In other countries, where they have sung, they have brought instrumental music to children, to patients, it even came from the tribute that arose in Spain, when every night at 8 o’clock the health personnel were applauded for being there treating patients with coronavirus. – Do the children in the JM de los Ríos have recreational areas that allow them to spend months in the hospital and not violate their rights? -Not at all, a hospitalized child in Spain is not the same as in JM de los Ríos where they have no resources, they don’t even have water, in Europe they have no concern, there are video game areas in hospitals, recreation areas Here the children do not even have televisions, games to be able to be there all this time and to be able to recreate, the reality of our children is very harsh, because despite their sufferings they are still children. – Was it easy to get people to support you in this initiative? -I really didn’t, it was hard for me to get musicians to support me, we called several until finally it was William and Xabier who said yes, at that moment I thanked God. Several of the singers we called were out of the country, others couldn’t because of the pandemic, because of the rules that you can’t leave home and all that. We reached out to the boys because they had already participated with us in our sharing, from Prepara Familia we had an alliance with Guataca that lasted more than a year and every time there was a celebration they came. – Everything went how you expected? -Well, the boys that day had planned to sing four songs from the beginning, of course, complying with all the security measures, we were just three people, with our masks, keeping distance. They (the musicians) brought a bugle, but we didn’t foresee that it was Sunday and the kiosks were closed, the venues were around, so we couldn’t connect it, but hey, the activity came out and it was cool. A doctor joined and danced while the boys sang, the last song was dedicated to the health personnel, to thank them for all their dedication, you have no idea of the sacrifice they make to do their job, and they are there ready to give everything. But really, everything was so beautiful that we came up with the idea of calling this initiative “La Acera de Enfrente”. We didn’t even have someone to record it and a journalist happened to pass by at that moment and was the one who recorded the video that was broadcast on the networks. –
What are Prepara Familia looking for with this initiative?
-Demonstrate to the people that, even though we have this problem, they know that with extreme care, the “La Acera de Enfrente” movement can be done to bring joy, in our hospitals in the interior of the country. Since Sunday I have received emails from many people interested in singing to children, in bringing their acts, clowns, magicians, so we will continue to think about what gifts we can give children in the midst of this situation.