Kate Reeves (SFS’23) is an undergraduate student in the Walsh School of Foreign Service majoring in culture and politics and minoring in justice and peace studies and Spanish. Kate was a Doyle Undergraduate Fellow at the Berkley Center during the summer of 2021. She is extremely interested in how religion can be used as a vehicle for advocacy and peace-building when it comes to human rights issues, particularly the rights and wellbeing of displaced people.
My research on the role of local faith communities (LFCs) in the Venezuelan migration crisis is a case study in trying to understand religious responses to displacement. Though they are not directed by strict mandates, large budgets, large staff, or bureaucracies, LFCs have filled a critical role in bridging the “relief to development” gap in a way that NGOs and MNOs are striving to. These organizations can learn a lot from the grassroots, community-based approach of LFCs. Likewise, LFCs can learn about accountability and transparency from such organizations. As the crisis continues to escalate, it is important that large, secular organizations and LFCs collaborate closely so that each can fulfill their missions more effectively.
Nida Ansari. “World Refugee Day: Faith and Humanitarian Responses.” U.S. Department of State, June 20, 2021.
“Interreligious Committee for Refugee Self-Sufficiency in Peru.” The Global Compact on Refugees, May 12, 2019.
“Latin American Local Faith Community Responses to Venezuelan Migration.” ReliefWeb. CWS, September 2020.
Sharon Samber. “Colombia’s Bold Gesture to Help Venezuelan Refugees.” HIAS, March 16, 2021.
Sharon Samber. “No to GBV, Yes to Economic Empowerment.” HIAS, April 14, 2021.
JoAnne Wadsworth. “Local Faith Communities Respond to Venezuelan Displacement in Latin America and the Caribbean.” G20 Blog, June 20, 2021.