The Light Up the Night: For a Brighter Venezuela Gala is Back

The impact of Fe y Alegría, which was founded in Venezuela over 65 years ago, has always been felt beyond its direct work with marginalized and vulnerable communities. Ask any Venezuelan–on the streets of Miami, Madrid, or Maracaibo–and they will tell you their “Fe y Alegría story”. Through its connections with many public and private institutions, including the Catholic Church, Fe y Alegría has brought individuals together in collaboration in two ways: 1) the annual raffle and 2) community programs, which allowed students to visit Fe y Alegría schools to learn how the organization supports marginalized communities.

Even years later, many Venezuelans recall their experience with the annual raffle and how this special time of the year would fill their hearts. Regardless of where they are now, Fe y Alegría, the raffle, and its little red heart transports Venezuelans of all ages and backgrounds back to that sense of community and belonging. This is the case of Carolina Domínguez, María Alecia Klemprer and Mariana Bustillos, three friends from Venezuela who now live in Houston, Texas. Living outside Venezuela for a number of years, the trio had a growing sense of longing to contribute to the future of their home, in any way shape or form.

“When we became familiar with Magis Americas and Friends of Fe y Alegría in the US, we immediately felt compelled to work together,” said Dominguez.“There was trust in the platform, process and institutionalization of the organization that is not easy to find when working with organizations in Latin America.”

This clear connection to the impact and history of success by Fe y Alegría, as well as the security and transparency provided by Fe y Alegría’s relationship with Magis Americas, it’s long time U.S. partner and fiscal sponsor, allowed Dominguez, Klemprer and Bustillos to realize that this was the perfect opportunity to take action and support their country and its future generations.

Thus, with the support and guidance of Jesús “Txuo” Rodríguez Villarroel, S.J., executive director of Fundación Unidos en la Misión, the Light Up the Night: For a Brighter Venezuela gala was born.

In its first year, in 2019, the gala was a complete success. It gave participants the chance to contribute with friends and family, not only as Bustillos said, to “see that [their] little grain of salt, translates into the smiles on kids’ faces, joy”but also to see a direct line of support to Fe y Alegría as it continues on facing challenge after challenge. It was a true celebration of the work of Fe y Alegría and a moment in which individuals came together for a Brighter Venezuela. To the organizer’s surprise, the event also had strong support and participation from individuals who were not from Venezuela, but who had a strong connection to the country. It gave everyone a chance to get involved.

This year, after being postponed twice due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Light Up the Night: For a Brighter Venezuela gala is back to give individuals a chance to remain connected to the needs of Venezuela and contribute to the organizations working towards solutions. The gala will be inspired by Venezuelan culture through its ambiance and music, dancing and celebrating.

To learn more about the Light Up the Night: For a Brighter Venezuela gala, as well as purchase tickets, sponsor and/or donate, click here.

The gala will take place at the Silver Street Studios (2000 Edwards St., Houston, TX 77007) on Saturday May 7, 2022, at 7pm.

Batteries for Education, Fe y Alegría Venezuela

Today, in a context where the impacts of a global pandemic are being felt in communities on various levels all around the world, teachers play an essential role in overcoming adversities and building brighter futures. Their work and commitment to guaranteeing quality education is key in driving us out of crisis.

The Fe y Alegría movement was born in Venezuela 65 years ago to give educational opportunities to all. This popular education movement goes beyond barriers, where the asphalt and electricity cannot reach, impacting the lives of thousands of students. The reality in which the teachers of the 176 Fe y Alegría educational centers live is a dire one. Following school closures due to the health and safety measures to contain the pandemic, these teachers were met with many great challenges, one of them reaching their students in a context where access to technology, electricity and the internet is not stable. Many of them, in rural areas, looked for alternatives like hand-writing lesson plans and delivering them door to door to their students.

This pandemic has shed light on the increased inequalities in access to education, furthermore, it has also shown us the importance of the roles caretakers such as teachers have in guiding future generations. Magis Americas has joined forces with TM Cell, a distributor of mobile solutions, to support these teachers and their work as educators. TM Cell has donated 100 power banks of one of its main brands , LOGIC, with the capacity to power 100 phones. These power banks will support teachers as they continue to adapt to remote learning in a context in which electricity is often incredibly unreliable. Having reliable access to a source of energy for their phones will enable them to innovate in the ways they ensure all Fe y Alegría students have continuous learning experiences adapted to their realities.

We are excited about this collaboration as we are sure it will have a great impact on the education experiences teachers will be able to give their students. We thank TMCell for their generous donation as well as their support for these real-life heroes.  If you are interested in finding out more about how you can support Fe y Alegría in Venezuela and its teachers in their mission of taking education to where the asphalt and electricity cannot reach, impacting the lives of thousands of students, join Magis Americas.

In community, we move forward.