Good Shepherd Sisters in Chile

The mission of Fundación Madre Josefa is “to welcome, accompany and empower people in vulnerable situations, especially migrants, women, children in situations of poverty, gender violence and human trafficking for their full integration into the country with a clear commitment to the defence of human rights and dignity of the person” and its vision is “We are an NGO initiative of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, proactive with people in situations of vulnerability due to poverty, gender violence, migration and human trafficking; especially women, girls, boys, are actively participating in building an inclusive and equitable society”.

Fundación Madre Josefa has 4 benefits: Safe Migratory Regulation, Labour Intermediation, Human Development and Prevention of Human Trafficking, which it implements in 5 missions nationwide: Iquique, La Serena, Puente Alto, Talca and Temuco. To carry out these services in Chile, the Foundation has a Quality Management Model and is guided by the Mother Josepha Approach, which consists of 3 pillars: Human Rights Approach, Gender Approach and Good Shepherd Spirituality.

In 2019 the Foundation attended to 3,485 people in a situation of migration, with an average age of 33 years. In 2020, 1,858 new people joined the Foundation, 61% of whom were women and 39% men, with the main nationalities being Venezuela (32%), Haiti (26%), Bolivia (17%), Colombia (10%) and Peru (7%).


In the context of COVID 19 experienced this year and the associated economic and health crises, 664 food boxes and 485 hygiene kits have been delivered as part of Humanitarian Aid, the Migrant Fund has been implemented to maintain support and advice to the population in a situation of human mobility at the national level in all services, masks have been made from the participants of the Shelter House that operates in Mission Talca, which provides care and shelter to pregnant women or women with children under 4 years to contribute to their social and labor inclusion.


In addition, workshops have been held on migrant rights and duties, a workshop on labour rights and duties, a course for migrant leaders, spaces for installing skills with the work teams and two national awareness campaigns: on 30 July, the International Day for the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons, and soon on 18 December, the International Day for the Right to Migrate.



  • The projects implemented through GSIF are the 2-year Empowerment of Vulnerable Migrants in Chile and Bolivia Project (October 2019 to October 2021);
  • Empowerment of Vulnerable Migrants in Chile and Bolivia and Prevention of Trafficking in Persons;
  • 2 emergency projects implemented in 2020 due to the crisis situation following COVID 19, “Response to the COVID 19 crisis in Chile: Migration in the context of the Coronavirus Pandemic”, both included humanitarian aid through food boxes and the Migrant Phono, providing care and advice to the migrant population through telephone assistance and social networks. The latter included the production of 300 masks by women participating in the Bon Akéy Shelter in Misión Talca.


Iquique, La Serena, Puente Alto, Talca and Temuco







Local staff


Human Rights
Girls and Women's Empowerment
Livelihood and Economic Justice
Community Strengthening and Participation


In the scenario of international and national health crisis resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic or COVID 19, the situation of vulnerability of the migrant population residing in Chile has worsened, mainly considering that they are engaged in informal work, street selling of products and other precarious jobs without a work contract. Currently, as a result of preventive measures for the spread of coronavirus, social isolation and mandatory quarantine in several municipalities nationwide, the migrant population using FMJ Care Centres has been left without sources of income to meet their personal and family food needs.

In the case of migrant women, a significant percentage of them were engaged in domestic service work, which has also left them without their source of employment, having to remain in their homes with the risk of increasing situations of Gender Violence, which has been observed at the level of the general population through the large increase in reported cases (70%) according to information provided by the Ministry of Women and Gender Equality through calls to telephones of the National Service for Women and Gender Equality and the Family Unit of the Police.

Added to this is the lack of formal and informal support networks and the overcrowding in which most of the user families live, which increases the risk of contagion.

Therefore, we are currently facing a situation of worsening vulnerability of migrant users of migrant care centres in the missions of Iquique, La Serena, Puente Alto, Talca and Temuco Fundación Madre Josefa, the product of a coronavirus pandemic, with high risk of infection of coronavirus and gender violence situations given their living conditions and support networks very weakened by the physical and social isolation in the country.

Many of these migrant families are unemployed, are heads of household, and their administrative situation in Chile is complex given that they entered the country through an unauthorised route and do not yet have their valid documentation, so they do not have the possibility of receiving economic or social support from the Chilean government. In addition, many of these families have breastfed children who are in nappies, which requires them to allocate their scarce funds to prioritize the needs of their babies.

With respect to violence against women, to date in 2020 there have been 29 femicides and 102 frustrated femicides. In the last 6 years there have been between 34 and 46 femicides per year. The HDI is 0.847, number 42 globally, but it is the most unequal of the top 50 countries, so the Index, when adjusted for inequality, falls to 0.696, down 14 places in the ranking. The Gender Development Index is 0.962, with the HDI for women at 0.828 and for men at 0.860 (2018). The incidence of income poverty in 2017 was 8.6%, while multidimensional poverty reaches 20.9% (including networks and social cohesion) and for those born outside Chile, it increases to 24.6% and 20.5% of those born in Chile.

Facts and figures

42/189 ranking of Human Development Index

8,6% incidence of income poverty in 2017

1% of the richest hold almost a third of the national income

46 femicides per years in the last 6 years


We work in 36 countries

Offering assistance and support to the programs run by the Good Shepherd sisters and their partners

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