Women Exercising Leadership for Cohesion & Meaningful Empowerment (WELCOME)
Through the JuntosEsMejor (“BetterTogether”) Challenge, a joint effort by USAID and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to fund innovative solutions that support Venezuelans and host communities, Democracy International’s Women Exercising Leadership for Cohesion & Meaningful Empowerment (WELCOME) project is introducing a women-focused solution to support Venezuelan survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) in Trinidad and Tobago. The WELCOME project aims to reduce barriers for Venezuelan GBV survivors to access services in T&T so that they know their choices and feel supported to access the services they want to address the abuse.
Building upon its standing relationships with local organizations, Democracy International is recruiting and training well-known and trusted bilingual women from the Venezuelan community in Arima and Debe to serve as advocates. The advocates work to connect survivors to trusted referral services and to provide social support to promote survivors’ feelings of self-efficacy.
In light of the isolation induced by the COVID-19 outbreak and heightened xenophobic sentiment in Trinidad and Tobago, psychological support services are of amplified importance. As such, these advocate interventions aim to create lasting behavioral change by increasing psychosocial support and care to Venezuelan GBV survivors.
Using an experimental design, Democracy International will determine whether the advocate interventions are effective, valid, and reliable under COVID-19-era restrictions, and whether they are scalable across Trinidad and Tobago and regionally.
Photo by Chang Duong on Unsplash.