On November 30, 2019, with the help of the Brazilian Army through the supply of materials and volunteers, the construction began of an area for education in the ATM (Transit Lodging in Manaus), an area organized by the Acolhida Operation to receive the Venezuelan refugees that arrive from Roraima for the immersion stage, who have been waiting there between 15 and 20 days.
At this point, the team of the Fraternidade – International Humanitarian Federation (FIHF) operates in the area of management all the time, with recreational activities for the children, besides the receiving and distribution of people, coordinating the cleaning, kitchen tasks and checking on issues related to protection in vulnerable cases.
A cleaning of the new area was done after the removing of some unevenness in the concrete floor, because there was not an adequate area for the activities with the children and the adolescents between ages 3 and 17, who arrive there all the time. In a heavy flow of refugees, the lodging capacity is 300 people, and the number of children and youths attending has been around 30 a day.
Another improvement was the installation of electric outlets for fans and of a glass between the partitions allowing the children to be seen by their parents and those responsible during the time they are there. The area also received donations of new toys, and will continue being improved with alphabet letters and drawings, offering games, singing, exercise and educational films, in order to make the place more joyful, welcoming and encouraging those who arrive there. Outside, some painting is being done for directions to signal the educational area with the art workshops: a benefit for all those who are there temporarily.
The objective of this area, inaugurated on December 11, is to receive these children who need a calm atmosphere, which may offer comfort and allow concentration while they draw, play and interact with other people. In this way, all can feel safer, more tranquil – and the natural stress that the children, the youths and their family members have experienced may be reduced.
The Acolhida Operation is an agency of response from the Brazilian State that, through the Brazilian Armed Forces, verifies health issues, lodging facilities and the organization needed to welcome people who are in a situation of vulnerability, caused by the migratory flow. It is structured to maintain order at the border and in the shelters, in Roraima and, in the immersion stage, in Manaus.
The Operation began in March 2018 and the shelters have been welcoming the refugees, offering accommodations, daily meals, medical attendance and security, and receives help from UN agencies, such as the UNHCR, IOM, UNFPA, UNICEF and from other non-governmental and civil organizations.