At the beginning of this year, on January 6 to 10, the Fraternidade – International Humanitarian Federation FIHF sponsored a “Meeting about Educational Practices for Humanitarian Missions” in the Roraima Mission, which, since 2016, has been taking care of the Venezuelan immigrants. With this meeting, the FIHF gave continuity to the training of the missionaries that are active in the area of education.
Since 2019, these meetings have been taking place in the city of Boa Vista, with the intention of training the team of 12 missionaries that work with the children and young people that go through the shelters under the management of the Fraternidade FIHF
The purpose of the training is to make the educational environment – in teaching and in playing – a means for welcoming and caring for the Venezuelan children in the context of the humanitarian crisis who have migrated to Brazil, making it possible to create a feeling of security and normality for rebuilding their lives.
This is a great challenge, because it is necessary to permanently revitalize the available physical environment, seeking harmony for the rebuilding of resilience in the children and young people being cared for.
“This meeting was based on activities and practical experience, where the art educators had the possibility of accessing their inner personal reality to better understand the situation of those being cared for, through rhythmic movements, songs, drawing, handcrafts,” explained Acacia, coordinator of the training team, reflecting upon the importance of the childhood stage, an essential perido of existence that has need of special protection and care.
“The training taught how to structure a classroom, contemplating the child’s areas of feelings, thinking, and acting, suggesting that the art educators “become” the child, waking up their own creative potential, and, in this way, drawing closer to the essence of childhood,” she commented.
Dr. Daniela Boaventura, a pediatrician doctor that is part of the training team, commented: “we brought to the art educators a way of seeing how to work with children and young people, indicating the parameters for normality in each stage of child development and stimulating the awakening of a sensitivity for perceiving changes in behavior, symptoms and health signs that are typical of a situation of immigration and refugee status that the indigenous and non-indigenous Venezuelans are experiencing. In this way of observing, we brought some expansion in the protection of the children and adolescents.”
Khatery, also a member of the team, with training in Germany in Emergency Pedagogy– one of the branches of Anthroposophy – participated by bringing artistic expression as a means of interaction, with the purpose of releasing the traumas that may have been established in the children and adolescents.
This work was a partnership between the Mahle Institute and the Fraternidade FIHF, within The Common Good Project developed by the latter since 2018 in the humanitarian response to the Venezuelan situation in the States of Roraima and Amazonas. The project also includes the donations of school materials, educational toys, equipment and improvements in the infrastructure for the classrooms of the indigenous shelter Pintolândia.
Raquel, an art educator missionary and coordinator of The Common Good Project, who also participated in the training, commented, “those meetings are very important for the educational training of the group, to apply in practice, providing relief for the suffering of children and adolescents… It was as if we had returned to our childhood and were able to bring relief and healing to that child who was wounded. The feelings of lightness, of healing, of a more expanded breath, of the happiness of being a child with its spontaneity… of the hope for a better world… was described by most.”
With this further training, the Fraternidade Humanitária FIHF renews and expands its response to the Venezuelan immigrant population in Brazilian territory.