The educational service carried out in Humanitarian Roraima Mission by Fraternidade – International Humanitarian Federation is rapidly gaining amplitude and depth, with the support of UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund).

This service began in three places of shelter of Venezuelan in the state of Roraima. In April and October 2018, it included other four shelters. The plan is to end 2018 with the service present in 10 of the 13 shelters organized by the Welcome Operation of the Brazilian Government.

The initiative already benefits more than 700 Venezuelan children and youths supported by Brazil. The plan is to serve 1,500 minors. At the moment, 72 Venezuelan educators – Indigenous and non-Indigenous – are involved, as well as 17 Brazilians. With the expansion of the project to 10 places, 27 new Venezuelan and 6 Brazilian instructors will be added.


Besides UNICEF, the initiative has the support of the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), of NRC (Norwegian Council for Refugees), of AVSI Brazil (Association of Volunteers for International Service – Brazil, associated with AVSI – Italy), of the Social Project of Children, of Setrabes (Roraima Labor and Social Welfare Secretariat), of Fraternity without Borders, of the Catholic Church (Parish of Pacaraima), and of the Methodist Church, among other organizations.

“Here education is not restricted to class, but it occurs all day long, as students and teachers mingle, in the same space, 24/7. The children are always very dependent on us, they have us as reference, and call us whenever they have some difficulty”, describes Omerys Diaz, a teacher, who arrived as migrant, at the beginning of the year, with a daughter and a grand-son.

With 15 years of teaching experience in Venezuela, she is one of the 400 inhabitants of Nova Canaã, a shelter of Venezuelan families, and she was one of the first to join the project. “To me, it has been a very significant and transforming experience, because it is full of values. We work solidarity a lot, the act of giving one’s best without expecting anything in return. We do this with a lot of respect and love”, she testifies.

A collective construction

“We gradually adapted the school to the needs of those in the shelter. It was a collective construction. We did meetings with parents and showed them that we were not playing, that we were really seeking to guarantee for the children a minimum of education during the period in which they would be incapable of attending a regular school. We explained that we needed the adults’ help for the experience to yield fruits. We managed to double the frequency of children in classes”, explains Sister María da Alegría, of Grace Mercy Order, one of the coordinators of the educational project.

“We see the shelter as a community and the idea of this school is to work with all members of the community, not only with the children, but also with parents, those who work, everyone who is here. It is an education for all. It would be useless to try to pass values to the children in class if, when they go to their tents, they find a different reality”, completes Maria do Carmo, a volunteer missionary of Fraternidade – International Humanitarian Federation that collaborates in the shelter of Nova Canaã.

Protection of minors

The educational initiative called “Common Good” works with two pillars: education and protection of the rights of children and adolescents.

In the field of protection, the initiative carries out playful, musical and recreational activities, which help relieve tensions and stimulate the full expression of the minors. It develops their ability of concentration and memory, harmonious co-existence and the spirit of cooperation as elements that collaborate in the process of education.

This stream is accompanied by monitors specially trained to identify and assist the children who undergo difficulties deriving from the violation of their fundamental rights. The cases are helped by a team of Fraternidade – International Humanitarian Federation comprised by a psychologist, social assistants and a specialist in protection of minors. This board refers and accompanies the cases to the Network of Protection and Guarantee of the Human Rights of Children and Adolescents of Boa Vista, RR, until its final solution.

The Project “Common Good” is functioning in the Indigenous shelters of Pintolandia (Boa Vista) and Janokoida (Pacaraima), as well as in Nova Canaã, Jardim Floresta, São Vicente, Rondon 1, and Rondon 2. In addition, its implementation is predicted for the shelters of Helio Campos, BV-9 (Pacaraima) and Rondon 3, thus comprising 10 places altogether.