We are refugees, displaced people, and asylum seekers running activities to empower people with similar backgrounds through information and community.
VIA began its work in 2016 from the need to share information and connect the Venezuelan displaced people and asylum seekers to existing organizations in New York City. It was also born from empathy and solidarity, from feeling close to our homeland, Venezuela, and knowing that we were helping our fellow citizens make their adaptation process more accessible, safer, and bearable.
Niurka and Héctor are both from Caracas, Venezuela. They left their country with their only son in 2015.
In Venezuela, they obtained their university degrees, Niurka in Computing and Héctor in Administration. Both describe themselves as citizens committed to their country and their community.
Since their arrival in New York, Niurka and Héctor began to work as volunteers in several organizations that help immigrants in the city, serving as guides and interpreters of the growing Venezuelan community that, like them, seek asylum in the United States.
After creating several networks and connections serving as a bridge, in 2016, Venezuelans and Immigrants Aid (VIA) was founded. As they define it, VIA is a 100% voluntary and community-based nonprofit that helps and builds bridges to the Venezuelan forced migrants in New York.
VIA is completely supported by volunteers!
Our members and volunteers are primarily Venezuelan TPS recipients and asylum seekers themselves, hardworking individuals who want to give back to their community and the organizations that support our mission.
Together we have made VIA a community-based organization, supported 100% by volunteer contributions that carries out activities to empower and support the forced migrant and asylum-seeking community in New York City.
What motivates us is our passion and commitment. We show through our actions that, when you desire it, you can help, empower and involve fellows, encouraging them to do the same with those who come after.
«… Contributing our part, a tiny grain of sand in a vast world of need, without underestimating the impact of our actions.» -Niurka Melendez, VIA’s founder.
We welcome more volunteers and supporters! Want to be a part? Click here.