According to a report by the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo, 1,046,708 Venezuelans have entered Colombia since 2014. This is due to the social and humanitarian crisis that has been going on for some years in Venezuela and, of course, to its geographical proximity to Colombia. The Colombian National Government, local governments and several NGOs have made great efforts to mitigate the negative consequences that this situation can bring both for Venezuelans who arrive and for the country that receives them, everything possible has been done to give them a decent treatment and an adequate process of inclusion into Colombian society. Even so, many of these people who are suffering from having to leave everything behind, are experiencing problems and do not even find a space for entertainment that distracts them from the tragedy they are experiencing.
For a couple of months now the club Independiente Santa Fe and MullenLowe SSP3 agency have been working on different communication projects. The agency and the team wanted to do their part, knowing the reality that is being lived in the national territory with the migrations from the neighboring country, and the situation of the thousands of Venezuelans who have been forced to move to Colombia.
“We realized that Venezuelans are already being helped on many fronts with basic issues such as food, shelter and civic identity” comments Carlos Andrés Rodríguez, CCO of the agency. “However, until today few had thought about things a little less momentous but at the same time very important for any human being, such as the need to entertain, distract from the daily rush or have fun …like when you are a fan of a soccer club” adds Carlos Andrés.
Because of this, the agency came up with an opportunity to help Venezuelans mitigate the pain of having been forced to leave their country. To make at least a few minutes of their lives a little happier, the idea was to propose to Santa Fe to open their stands, so that Venezuelans too could live the passion that it feels to be a fan of one of the teams in the capital city. “We found a very strong insight, and is that every time you get to live in a new country or city, you choose the colors of the local team to feel like a part of that new place “ said Juan Pablo García, COO of MullenLowe.
The project called the immediate attention of the Club, which from the first day put all its efforts into making it a reality and execute it in the best possible way. “#FansWithoutBorders is an institutional campaign that seeks to turn Santa Fe into an agent of social change. That is why, together with the Mayor’s Office of Bogotá, we opened the doors of our house to the thousands of Venezuelans who had to leave their country due to the difficult situation and who are now residents in Bogotá”reads a report published by the Club in its Web page. In addition, as the main spokesperson for the campaign, the Venezuelan player Luis Manuel Seijas, who has been part of the club’s soccer team for several years, joined the project. He, being a Venezuelan, welcomed with enthusiasm the campaign not only because is about football, but also because of what it represents to him being able to support all his fellow citizens.“11 years ago Santa Fe opened its doors to me and today it wants to open them to all Venezuelans who have left our country and now live in Bogotá”, said the player.
For its execution, the project has the support of the Mayor’s office of Bogota, who also committed to making it a reality and put all the necessary tools to reach Venezuelans through the Integral Centers of Attention to the Migrant CIAM, where 3,500 tickets will be distributed for the game that Santa Fe played on Sunday February 24 against the Junior of Barranquilla at the Nemesio Camacho El Campín Stadium, in the city of Bogotá. “To claim them for free, Venezuelans only need to prove their nationality through their passport, the pep (permanent permit) or their identity card”, said Gladys San Miguel, manager of the Migrant Assistance Program of the mayor’s office. For the call, the agency used a video that has been spread through social and mass media, as well as posters and pop material that have been placed in the CIAM points. In addition, in the previous match, the Independiente Santa Fe team went out to the field in front of all the spectators, with a flag that read: VENEZUELAN FRIEND, SANTA FE OPENS THE DOORS OF THE LIONS HOUSE”. #FansWithoutBorders