Venezuelan refugees have been living in Roraima for the last ten months and will move to Santa Catarina in the following weeks with guaranteed jobs thanks to the PRM-funded project “Welcomed Through Work.”
In August, a group of 27 Venezuelan refugees landed at the Juscelino Kubitscheck International Airport in Brasilia to start new jobs and begin a new life in the Brazilian capital. Eleven of the refugees were hired by the fast-food chain Levvo Group, the others were family members.
Unable to receive family visits due to the COVID-19 restrictions, inmates Alisson Tomas Zanetti, Philipe Augusto Ferreira Leal, and Edemir Cardoso da Silva Júnior were feeling abandoned and even more isolated from their community. Together, they sum up a 74-year sentence which they serve inside three APACs (Association for Protection and Assistance to Convicts), a prison system without guards or weapons located in various Brazilian states. To reconnect and feel useful, they have all joined “Humanize Prison Sentences, Promote Life.” Funded by the European Union and the Italian Bishop’s Conference and implemented by AVSI Brasil and the Fraternity of Assistance to Convicts (FBAC), the project will help 400 inmates in 23 APACs make 350,000 masks to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
AVSI is monitoring the continued development of the coronavirus pandemic in countries where we operate. We are aware of risks that local populations will face, especially having limited access to precarious health systems and already struggling with poverty, hunger, and conflict. AVSI staff continues to accompany our beneficiaries, following safety regulations implemented in each country. We are doing everything we can to ensure minimal interruption of our initiatives, which many people need even more right now. Below are some testimonials we have received from colleagues, who like all of us, have to adapt, be creative, and remain hopeful during these difficult times.
Miguel Arcangel’s love for sports began early, more precisely at the age of four, when he stepped for the first time on a field in Venezuela to practice his favorite sport: soccer. Since then, he had dedicated more than 30 years to soccer. Miguel achieved the top of his career playing for Monagas Sport Club, a soccer team playing at the top level, the Primera División Venezolana. Ricardo, his younger brother, recalls that Miguel used to travel a lot while playing for them.
In the Latin American country, where the pandemic is dramatic with 1 million cases and 50,000 deaths, 400 “recuperandos” in 23 APACs, Brazilian prisons with no guards, are making 350,000 masks to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. The protective equipment will be donated to the most vulnerable population thanks to a project implemented by AVSI and funded by the European Union.
When Frederit, Raul and Anamar fled Venezuela and migrated to Brazil, they had one common goal: to seek better job opportunities to ensure their families could have a better future. Now, with a new job and a place to live, they can finally make plans for the future.
VENEZUELAN FAMILY MOVES TO THE STATE OF SANTA CATARINA IN SOUTHERN BRAZIL AND BECOMES SELF-SUFFICIENT
After leaving Venezuela and living for a year in Boa Vista, Brazil, Venezuelan refugee Ricardo José Blanco Rojas, 49 years old, is beginning a new chapter of his life in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, where he and his family have lived since February.
The Rojas family moved to the city of Seara thanks to “Welcomed Through Work,” a project funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) and implemented by AVSI Brasil. A local food processing company hired Ricardo and his brother while AVSI Brasil rented an apartment for them for three months. The family also received social assistance for their first three months in the new city. As part of the project’s social assistance component, a social worker helps families integrate into their new community and workplace.
Integrated Venezuelan family shares their experience with U.S. Ambassador in Brazil through videoconference
The Torrealba Garcia family was planning to have a quiet Thursday, only interrupted by a small party to celebrate Richard’s 40th birthday. But this year the celebration was a bit different. Early in the morning, the Venezuelan family received a call from Todd Chapman, U.S. Ambassador to Brazil, who invited them to join him on a video call in Spanish. The encounter was organized by the U.S. Embassy, who has been checking in with the families integrated through “Welcomed Through Work,” a project funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) and implemented by AVSI Brasil.
Anny, a Venezuelan refugee, got moved to Santa Catarina, Brazil thanks to AVSI’s “Welcomed Through Work” initiative, funded by the Bureau of Population, Migration and Refugees. Though she’s new to the area, she was invited to participate in two campaigns designed to raise awareness about COVID-19 among refugees in Brazil.