Celebrated worldwide on June 20, the Day of the Refugee had an intense week of activities in the shelters under the management of the Fraternity – International Humanitarian Federation (FIHF), in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which receive Venezuelans into Brazil.
The activities included playing, arts, and sports in the five shelters managed by the institution in Roraima and in the Amazon, which included dances typical of the Warao and E’ñepa indigenous peoples, mandala workshops, and sport games, mural painting, and storytelling.
In all the shelters, children and young people drew designs commemorating the subject of the Refugee Week: “My future in Brazil.”
Missionaries printed photos to commemorate the date. There were 309 photographs taken and given to refugee families. “The printing process comes to life and images of Venezuelan families gradually emerge. This present given by the Fraternity (FIHF) is an art form that will reach hearts and cross generations,” says Fátima Cavalcante, coordinator of the art-education project.
In the Pintolândia indigenous shelter, volunteers organized a meeting with the indigenous artisans who presented their arts, joyful dancing, and celebration life. During the meeting, the project was continued of artistic paintings on the outside walls of the bathroom, the preparation of the wall for receiving the panel in the next few days, an activity accompanied by the children.
The children helped to clean and organize the art-education space of the shelter, and also had fun collecting and distributing the bananas from the agroforestry garden.
There were drawing activities carried out with the children, who were each portrayed with their own paintings. “They loved being photographed with the designs and watching the little video of them playing and running,” reported the missionaries.
The indigenous children also participated in the building of mandalas and played with the missionaries.
On June 14, the documentary Nona Anonamo was released, which portrays the history of the Warao tribe and their forced migration journey from Venezuela to Brazil, showing the handicrafts done by the Warao women of the shelter.
In the Janokoida indigenous shelter, the children got together to paint a tree on a wall, with the guidance of artists who also live in the shelter.
In the Tancredo Neves shelter and in the Nova Canaã shelter, two days of the week were set aside for the Encounter of Tales, with the presentation of the tale “A Better World.” Children and young people joined the program and some women from the sewing studio supported it by making costumes for the presentation.
On that occasion there was also a distribution of photographs of the families.
At Nova Canaã, the plastic artist refugee Eddie began painting a picture depicting the life and daily activities in the shelter.
At Tancredo Neves, the refugee Juan Bautista paid tribute and did paintings. In this shelter, the love story between a dog and the Venezuelan refugee José Rafael was also recorded. This story is changing the direction and destiny of their lives.
Found ill in the street, the dog was rescued by the Venezuelan, who worked to buy food and medications and, after much persistance, managed to have the dog neutered through the donation of a veterinarian.
In the Manaus Transit Accommodation, children painted a wall inspired by the theme of the week and were helped by a local plastic artist. Mandalas were also printed and cut for coloring, an activity that helps with concentration and relieves stress. They also left their mark with the painting of their hand prints on the mural.