Ecuador. The U.S. Foreign Service Officer visits 'Integrados' project
26-07-2023 | di COOPI

Ecuador. The U.S. Foreign Service Officer visits 'Integrados' project

On 13 July 2023, COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale received a visit from Porter Illi, The U.S. Foreign Service Officer in Ecuador, in the province of El Oro, where with the Italian NGO AVSI we are carrying out the second phase of the project "Integrados - Integration of Venezuelan migrants and refugees".  

Since September 2022, thanks to funding from the US Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration COOPI and AVSI have been working together to improve the protection processes of Venezuelan refugees and migrants, as well as members of the host community, by facilitating access to self-employment, entrepreneurship and safe housing.

During the visit, the Delegate was able to participate in several activities developed within the project, including the inauguration of the "Vivienda Populares" Community Development Centre, adapted by the partner AVSI, and the realisation of a fair of COOPI's services and beneficiary enterprises in the province.

For its part, COOPI presented the project's achievements and results through the processes of entrepreneurship, trade and employability training aimed at the project's beneficiary population, as well as the impact on income generation and access to livelihoods through entrepreneurship, learning a trade or creating links with businesses after training.

The Delegate also visited a community housing unit managed by AVSI where he spoke with female entrepreneurs beneficiaries of COOPI, who were able to share their learnings and experiences before and after participating in the project, as well as their impressions of the work carried out by the two organisations.

COOPI has been present in Ecuador since 1967 and, because of the Venezuelan crisis, has been involved in projects dedicated to the migrant population in local communities in the areas of humanitarian assistance, to improve living conditions and access to work, and WASH, to meet water, sanitation and hygiene needs. With donors such as UNICEF, UNDP and BPRM, it also carries out protection projects and food security projects in order to create socio-economic integration of both human migrants and host communities.