Our work among the war refugees came as a result of our work with the Wou'naan - Emberá Indians in the Southeastern provinces of the Republic of Panamá.
Jose Euceda, who represents the UNHCR (United Nations High Comissioner for Refugees), shared with us information concerning Colombian nationals who have been displaced by warring paramilitary groups.
He pointed us to the villages that the UNHCR considers to have the greatest need. These refugee villages became infamous this year when a little girl died of starvation. The border police do not allow large shipments of food or supplies into the area for fear it will end up in the hands of the FARC or other armed groups in Colombia.
The FARC and other armed groups in Colombia, sometimes raid villages and take the little food they have. They Panamanian Police will, however allow basic food items in if they are accompanied by certification from the U.N. that they are relief items for the refugees.
Mr. Euceda has agreed to supply us with the necesary documents. Additionaly he asked if our group could help three other refugee villages that are in extreme need of immediate assistance. These villages are Alto Playona where there are an estimated 280 people, Riocito where there are an estimated 250 people, and Tortuga where there are over 200 people.
These people have lost everything to the ravages of guerilla warfare. They have escaped with only their lives and the tattered clothes they wear. They are in a strange land, far from home... a home that has been destroyed and no longer exists. The sad truth is, they have no home to which they can ever return.
We have been blessed with the opportunity to help. Please consider donating to help purchase powdered milk, grain and other food items that will be distributed among those who are suffering and have lost everything.
If you are of like mind and would like to help in taking the gospel of Christ into this region please Donate.