In Roraima there are 4 work fronts embracing up to 1500 sheltered people.
By Taemã Oliveira, FWB/Boa Vista, RR, Brazil press office
The Project Brazil, a heart that welcomes, of the humanitarian organization Fraternity without Borders (FWB), located in the state of Roraima is undergoing a restructuring and tripling the capacity to receive Venezuelan refugees and migrants, from 500 to 1500 people. The change was necessary due to the growing migratory flow on the border between Brazil and Venezuela and is part of a reorganization of the Brazilian army’s Operation Welcome.
At the beginning of this year, project “Brazil, a heart that welcomes” took over the civil coordination of another Reception Center, the Pricumã, also located in Boa Vista – capital of the state of Roraima. Until 2021, Fraternity without Borders was the only civil organization that maintained a Reception Center with its own resources from sponsorship, the São Vicente 2 Reception Center.
“In the second half of 2021, we submitted ourselves to a call for proposals from the UN agency for refugees in Brazil, the UNHCR, for the cycle of operations 2022-2023. We were selected to maintain the partnership with UNHCR, which is now for the third consecutive year, and thus we will be able to continue enhancing the scope of the project in favor of Venezuelan refugees and migrants seeking new opportunities in Brazil,” explains Arthur Dias, Project Manager.
Planning was necessary for the implementation of the changes, among them: the sheltered of the São Vicente 2 Reception Center were gradually transferred to the Emergencial Area September 13th Reception Center (Espaço Emergencial 13 de Setembro), which also expanded its capacity from 270 people to almost 500 people.
With this reallocation and now with the support of the UNHCR for the basic maintenance of the shelters, the sponsorship amounts and the one-time donations are now directed to the improvement of the assistance to our shelters, such as food complementation, professional training, relocation, and the main thing: for the maintenance of the Training and Reference Center, which is now 100% maintained with resources from donations.
“Sponsorship is increasingly important. The Pricumã Shelter has many elderly people and people with chronic diseases, other illnesses, as well as unaccompanied minors. It is in the extra care that we need to have with this public, such as support with medications, transportation to specialized health care, and special food, that the donations will be fundamental,” explained Vanessa Epifânio, Operations Coordinator of the project in Roraima.
The project continues with four work fronts, three in Boa Vista and the fourth one being the Training and Reference Center in Pacaraima, a city at the border of Brazil and Venezuela. For the new demands, the collaborators team has also been expanded, eleven new job openings have been opened for the start of activities in the new reception center, three of them for professionals responsible for the relocation of the welcomed ones.
“The main challenge for 2022 is to find a place for people who are here in Brazil without family or friends. There are few vacancies left for them. Another issue is the new Reception Center, the Pricumã, which has many people with health problems. Not all of them are fit for work and others are not fit for any work”, explained Juliana Lopes, the project’s relocation leader. For her, the relocation is the best way out for the families that can’t get a job in Roraima, and whoever can welcome these families with all the support will be very welcome.
Since 2017, there have been almost than 1500 relocations, a fresh start for those who arrive in Brazil in search of new opportunities.
“We really like São Vicente 2. We live as a community. We participate in everything. Community kitchen, cleaning, courses, sewing room. We know that he changes will be good for everyone. It’s a change for the better”, said Carlos Castro, who has been staying for eight months in São Vicente 2 Reception Center with his wife and three children.