At first glance, the two sewing machines on Gina’s front porch look ordinary. They sit on a modest wooden table surrounded by plastics bags of fabric, dresses and t-shirts hanging from racks. The house where Gina, her children, and her sewing machines live is in the middle of El Floron 4 – one of the roughest neighborhoods of Portoviejo, Ecuador. Gina’s setup may be modest, but together with an upstart group of seamstresses, she is doing something extraordinary.
On June 16th, AVSI Ecuador received a very special visit from Michael Fitzpatrick, the US Ambassador to Ecuador. Ambassador Fitzpatrick visited a multifamily housing unit, where AVSI has intervened with structural adjustments to guarantee a dignified living situation for the seven Venezuelan families who live there.
The activities in multifamily housing units are part of the larger “Integrados” project, funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). “Integrados” seeks to incorporate Venezuelans into Ecuadorian society through dignified shelter, access to social and legal services, and opportunities to generate income.
On Thursday, June 10, AVSI’s “Integrados” Project Manager Estefania Gomez was a featured presenter in a workshop held jointly by the Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) and researchers from Pennsylvania State University.
After months fighting starvation, cold, family separation, and sexual harassment, Marvelis’ family enjoys a peaceful and safe house, thanks to the PRM-funded Project “Integrados”
Thanks to the project “Welcomed Through Work,” funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), AVSI Brasil has facilitated a dignified integration for more than 500 Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Brazil, with more still to come. In the project’s first year, 284 Venezuelans were hired by Brazilian companies and relocated, along with 291 family members, from reception shelters in Boa Vista to other Brazilian cities where AVSI secured accommodations. Once the hired people and their families arrive in the new cities, AVSI Brasil provides initial housing support and protection services through social workers.
AVSI Brasil opens reception center in Brasília to host newly hired Venezuelan refugees and their families
The building will serve as temporary housing for people selected to work in Brazil’s capital through the PRM-funded project Welcomed Through Work. The new space will officially open on February 4 at a ceremony with a select group of guests, including Todd Chapman, U.S. Ambassador to Brazil. Due to the pandemic, the ceremony will take place outside, in the front garden. All guests will have to follow strict safety protocols, including mandatory masks and temperature checks.
In early 2021, AVSI Brasil will open a new space in Brasília to temporarily host Venezuelan migrants moving to Brazil’s capital from the refugee centers in Roraima, near the border with Venezuela. The initiative is part of Welcomed Through Work, a project implemented by AVSI Brasil and The Migration and Human Rights Institute (IMDH) with funding from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).
In September, 160 Venezuelan migrants took another step towards complete integration in their new country, Brazil. They completed an eight weeks Portuguese course offered by AVSI Brazil and received certificates indicating their proficiency in the new language. Implemented in partnership with the National Commercial Learning Center of Roraima (Senac/RR), the classes are part of the project Welcomed Through Work, funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.
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.