“Cycling One Legged Around the USA for Street Kids in Venezuela”

"Cycling One Legged Around the USA for Street Kids in Venezuela"

Cycle Challenge USA 2008/Bici Sin Rodilla 2008

HOUSTON, Feb. 21 /CNW/ – On 1st March 2008, Veninos – Venezuelan Children
In Need trustee and co-founder, Lisa Tylee MBE(*), faces the challenge of her
lifetime when she undertakes a cycle challenge of approx. 9000 miles around
the USA. Lisa is raising funds for community education projects supported by
Veninos, and increasing awareness of the charity’s work to improve life for
urban street and shantytown children in Venezuela.
This challenge is particularly impressive as Lisa will be cycling with
only one leg, as she was born without a knee in her left leg.
Veninos – Venezuelan Children In Need is a registered not-for-profit,
tax-exempt, organisation in the USA.
Lisa starts Cycle Challenge USA 2008/Bici Sin Rodilla from Houston, Texas
and should complete in just over 7 1/2 months. She will spend at least 171
days on her bike, cycling daily an average of 50 miles and going through 24
states plus Washington DC.

The journey includes:

Houston – Miami – Washington DC – Baltimore – Philadelphia – New York
City – Pittsburgh – Cleveland – (Cincinnati) – Chicago – Denver – Salt Lake
City – San Francisco – Los Angeles – San Diego – Las Vegas – Oklahoma City –
(Tulsa) – Dallas – Austin – Houston

Events will take place en route and Lisa will be available to speak to
the press, schools, corporate and community groups.

Lisa can be sponsored by visiting:
http://www.firstgiving.com/cycleusa2008.

This has payment details to Veninos by credit or debit card. A tax
receipt will be provided where contact details are given.
Alternatively checks in the name of Veninos can be sent to the charity
at: Suite 2633 14781 Memorial Drive, Houston. TX 77079

Notes to Editors:
(*)MBE – an honour awarded to Lisa by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000 for her
work with street and shanty town children in Venezuela.

For further information: on Cycle Challenge USA 2008/Bici Sin Rodilla
2008 in English or Spanish email usa@veninos.org; or http://www.veninos.org;
1-888-5-VENINOS; For a detailed timetable or for information on how to get
involved email Jane Blake at usa@veninos.org or jane.blake@veninos.org

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Music saved the street children of Venezuela – could it work for Scotland too?

From The Times
August 13, 2007
Music saved the street children of Venezuela – could it work for Scotland too?
Ben Hoyle, Arts Reporter

In the violent slums of Venezuela, free classical music lessons have transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of children and created an unlikely production line of virtuosos.

For 32 years El Sistema (the System) has tackled the “spiritual poverty” among some of South America’s poorest street children by teaching them to play Bach, Beethoven and Mahler in orchestras.

Now El Sistema is coming to Britain, where project organisers hope that it will rescue a generation of children on one of Scotland’s most notorious housing estates.

On Friday the Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, El Sistema’s dazzling standard-bearer, is to play a rare British concert at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Families from the Raploch estate in Stirling will be at the rehearsal, dreaming that their children might one day follow in the footsteps of Gustavo Dudamel or Edicson Ruiz. Dudamel, 26, is music director designate of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Ruiz is a double-bass player who was plucked from the ghettos of Caracas to become, at 17, the youngest-ever member of the Berlin Philharmonic.

Raploch could use a few success stories. On the outskirts of Stirling, overshadowed by the castle, hemmed in by the Forth River and the M9 motorway to Perth, rows of crumbling pebble-dash houses testify to years of decay.

Half a century ago children played in the streets and factories lined Raploch’s main road. Now there is widespread unemployment and parents are scared to let their sons and daughters outside.

Mechelle Kerr, 32, a mother of three, said that parents would do anything to keep their children off the streets. El Sistema is the answer to her prayers, she said, watching her middle child Stuart, aged 5, ride past on his tricycle. “There’s nothing for the bairns at that age except the swing park, and that’s full of 14-year-olds drinking Buckfast [tonic wine].”

Stuart wants to take up the trumpet and learn the music for the Sonic the Hedgehog video games.

Raploch’s fortunes are already being slowly transformed by a £120 million regeneration project, including 900 new homes, new schools, nurseries, sports facilities and a health campus. It is hoped that the regeneration programme and El Sistema will support each other.

Judy Barrow, of the Raploch Urban Regeneration Company, said that the area’s poverty does not compare with the conditions that many of El Sistema’s current pupils grow up in.

“We don’t have shoeless starving kids in Raploch but we do have kids who don’t have the same opportunities as other kids to go to ballet classes or music lessons because their parents can’t afford them.”

In Venezuela, El Sistema embraces more than 200 orchestras, reaching 250,000 children. It attracts more than £15 million a year of government funding. But it started humbly, with a handful of children playing in a garage.

The Scottish pilot will follow this modest model. A company has been set up to run the five-year scheme in Raploch, backed by the Scottish Arts Council, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Stirling Council. If the pilot is successful there are plans to roll it out across Scotland.

Susan Carragher, who is responsible for communities and culture at Stirling Council, travelled to Venezuela in May to see El Sistema at work. She was struck by the passion of the children. “We saw one student with a bandage on. She’d been shot but she didn’t want to miss a class.”

Chavez Frias defends his record in protecting street children and excluded sectors

Published: Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Bylined to: Patrick J. O’Donoghue

Chavez Frias defends his record in protecting street children and excluded sectors

VHeadline.com News Editor Patrick J. O’Donoghue writes:  During a visit to Carabobo State, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias has been talking about the success of his Mission Negra Hipolita. 

Speaking at the Coronel Enrique Guillermo Vogelsang agricultural production center in Belen, Chavez Frias says there are 54 men and five women at the center recovering from a state of abandonment and ready for reinsertion into society. 

  • The production center is one of nine farms under the administration of the Venezuelan Armed Force (FAN) . 

The mission aims to provide integral attention and protection to children and adolescents living on the streets, old people abandoned and living in extreme poverty and pregnant teenagers. 

The program also seeks to help persons with physical disabilities, tramps, and all those who are living conditions of social exclude exclusion. 

The President is committed to getting rid of misery in all communities. 

The production center that Venezuelan President Chavez Frias visited in Carabobo consists of 5700 hectares of land where members of the Negra Hipolita Mission can toil and learn a trade 

According to President Chavez Frias, such programs are a direct answer to opposition attacks that he has done nothing to help the street children and people living in misery and abandonment.

The opposition is currently torn between an open spin that Chavez Frias has done absolutely nothing worthwhile in the 8 years he has been in power and a grudging recognition that some social programs have caught on.