New Pathways to Success

For years, IOM Venezuela has helped facilitate the participation of students from migrant families in the Model United Nations conference. Based on feedback and requests, the mission is now helping young migrants tap other programmes that they might otherwise have difficulty accessing.

When Luis* told his mother that he and his classmates were accepted to go to the United States for an engineering competition, she cried with pride. During the competition, Luis and his classmates would build a solar- powered car from scratch— something they hope to one day replicate back in Venezuela. Luis was determined to win, for himself and for his mom.

Luis and his classmates, who are from migrant families, received support from IOM Venezuela in their bid to enter the US competition and in making travel arrangements.

Such support has long been provided by IOM Venezuela to migrant university students eager to participate in the Model United Nations. After returning from the conference, students who participated and their universities would typically be in touch with IOM to express thanks and offer feedback. Over time, some of the universities approached the IOM mission to ask for help in facilitating migrant student applications and travel for other global forums, competitions and events.

The IOM team saw that it was in a position to help many more promising candidates than it was, and began offering assistance to more students interested in a wider array of programmes. Luis and his classmates were able to benefit from what became an expansion of the initiative.

IOM Venezuela says that by offering this kind of assistance to more students, they are increasing opportunities for young people in Venezuela and the success stories are mounting. They attribute the growth of the programme to feedback they received from the students, families and universities they work with.