On the Ground International is a grassroots humanitarian aid organization based in Pamplona, Colombia. We are working together with international volunteers and local partners to support the Venezuelan refugees walking across the country, as well as the vulnerable population in Pamplona. Our projects include supporting and operating shelters along the route, providing first aid and medical care when we are able, and providing food, water and information. We also work with small foundations, schools and other locals to help the community in different ways. Learn more about our projects.

Our Team

Founder / Director
Bethani grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and was a music teacher before turning to full-time refugee work. She founded OTGI in 2019, and is very grateful for the opportunity to provide aid and support to the people of Venezuela in their difficult journeys across Colombia.
Programs Coordinator
Loanna is 23 and studied psychology. Passionate about community work, she became involved in initiatives with the migrant population, with the aim to generate social transformation through the welfare of every human being in situation of vulnerability.
Projects & House Manager
Bonnie, an Australian who spends most of her time in Argentina, graduated with a degree in International Studies (Global Sustainable Development) in 2020. She joined the team at OTGI because she is passionate about safe and dignified migration for all people, regardless of nationality, gender, age and economic status. In her free time she does circus and loves to bushwalk.
Volunteers Coordinator
Brianna is from the United States and first came to work at OTGI as a volunteer in May 2021. She became passionate about the work and community in Pamplona and returned to be a coordinator, managing the volunteers. In her free time she enjoys reading, hiking, and kite surfing.

Our Interns

Community Intern
Michael is 21 and from the Pacific Northwest. He has been studying Theology at Walla Walla University for the last two years. He wanted to take a year off of school as a way to pay forward the kindness shown to his parent’s, who are immigrants living in the U.S. Overall, Michael wants to integrate within the varying cultures here and grow closer to people through serving and listening to people.
Finance Intern
Dalynn is 19 and from Twisp, Washington. She is working on a marine biology major and art minor, with her eyes set on the deep sea. Dalynn decided to take a break from school and have an eye-opening experience helping in the Venezuelan refugee crisis.

Note from the founder – Bethani King

My involvement in refugee work began in 2016 in Lebanon, where I volunteered in the refugee camps twelve kilometers from the Syrian border. In 2018 I worked on a boat landing crew, and with a children’s program for Afghan refugees on the Greek island of Lesvos. Both of these experiences endeared the refugee story to my heart.

In 2018 I began reading news stories every day about the collapse of the Venezuelan economy and rising humanitarian crisis. I spent hours online, searching for organizations providing aid to the Venezuelans flooding out of their country, but I couldn’t find anything. There were a handful of large NGOs that claimed to be supporting Venezuelan refugees in Colombia, but I couldn’t find any specific information on their projects, and my queries were unanswered.

I finally decided to go to Colombia myself to assess what is really happening – and how we can help. I was sure that there were already people here doing good work, I just needed to be on the ground to find them.

Just as I thought, there are good people here! And they are doing good work. Most of the aid available to Venezuelan refugees comes from small foundations, churches, and even individuals who have turned their lives around to assist the most desperate Venezuelans.

My goal with this website is to provide what I couldn’t find from home – a connection between those who are far away but want to help, and those who are on the ground. The organizations we sponsor here are all organizations I have spent time with myself, and I can vouch for the effectiveness of their work.

Thank you for being here, and for supporting our work on the ground!

-Bethani King