Even though it was a challenging year, the second semester was quite dynamic for the Sector.

The Livelihoods Sector is guided by strategies that can promote resources for livelihoods and more autonomy for the refugees that live in the shelters in Roraima, under the management of the Fraternity – International Humanitarian Federation (FFHI), with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

This is the most advanced phase of a humanitarian response – when it leaves the characteristic of providing more welfare assistance – and looks for Lasting Solutions, a path that the Humanitarian Fraternity (FFHI) has been following.

Although 2020 has been an atypical and challenging year due to the Covid-19, the Sector developed various activities in the second semester of the year, namely.

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Professionalizing Courses, an Entry Point for the Job Market

The insertion of the inhabitants of the shelters into the job market is one of the main agendas of the Livelihoods Sector. From September to December, various professional courses have been held through partnerships. In all, 81 people, both men (60%) and women (40%), benefited from the following courses: Basic Waiter Techniques, Cutting and Sewing, Hair Cutting (for men, women, and children), Basic Computer, Basic Bakery Techniques, and Responder and Safety at Work Training.

The professional training of the Hair Cutting course, done in partnership with the Senac Education Institute, was carried out at the Pintolândia Shelter. The students practiced the new skill, doing free haircuts for 60 people, including adults and children. Also noteworthy is the Responder course, done at the Pintolândia Shelter, with 11 participants.

The Basic Computer Course, with a 60-hour workload, marked the beginning of the cooperation period between the Humanitarian Fraternity (FFHI) and the Virtual University of Roraima (UNIVIRR), concluded in August of 2020. The course was offered in the Livelihoods room of the Pintolândia Shelter.

To celebrate the ending of the course, the Sector had a simple ceremony to present the certificates to the participants. “For 2021, the plan is to begin courses in the Portuguese language for foreigners,” the coordinator of the sector, Jemima Bessa, tells us.

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Not only the students of the Computer Course celebrated the ending of the course. The two courses of Men’s and Children’s Hair Cutting and Basic Bakery also celebrated the conclusion of this stage, on December 10, with the presence of the graduates and their , representatives of the Humanitarian Fraternity (FFHI) and of the Senac coordination.

“That training was important in various aspects. An event to celebrate the beginning of a new way for these people, to commemorate an achievement and encourage them to continue forward with a new perspective. We must highlight that those were the first Warao indigenous classes to receive such qualifications,” stresses Jemima.

After the ceremony, the students offered a small reception to the guest with breads, cookies and cake made by them. The Humanitarian Fraternity (FFHI), with the support of ACNUR, provided transportation for students and their families to travel to and from the shelter.

Autonomy and Empowerment

Not only to train professionals, but prepare them for life, with autonomy and empowerment. It was for this purpose that the graduates from the courses of Hair Cutting and Bakery Techniques were given a mentoring session. The coordinator of the Livelihoods Sector explains: “mentoring consists of  introducing entrepreneurship concepts, market scenarios, creating an action plan, supporting curriculum development and helping them think about the paths they can take.”

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Indigenous Aetisans – Exhibitions and Training

Other activities stirred up the end of 2020. On December 8 and 9, three Warao artisans and one E’ñepa artisan participated in the First State Seminar on Network of Women Entrepreneurs of the Countryside, the City, the Forest, the Waters, Immigrants and Refugees of Roraima. The event is an initiative of the State Coordination of Public Policies for Women of the Secretaryt of Labor and Social Welfare (Setrabes), in partnership with the Brazilian Support Service for Micro and Small Businesses (Sebrae), and the Women’s Service Network.

During the Seminar, the artisans participated in entrepreneurship workshops such as: Creativity and Skills, Quality and Creativity, Handicrafts and Handicraft Techniques, Sales and Finance Strategies. They also participated in several lectures and in a fair to sell their products.

On December 18, a group of Warao artisans, from the Janokoida Shelter, participated in the Frontiers Cultural Exhibition, promoted by the Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports (SEMECD), of the Municipality of Pacaraima. “Events such as this are important for integration into the local community and for a peaceful co-existence,” concludes the coordinator of the Livelihoods Sector.

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Diagnosis of the Population Served – an important step in the development of new strategies

With the changes in the Roraima Mission and the closure of the Nova Canaã and Tancredo Neves Shelters, the focus of the mission was directed exclusively to the indigenous populations living in the Pintolândia, and Janokoida Shelters, and the newly opened Jardim Floresta Shelter.

In order to draw a diagnosis and profile of this relevant population, the Livelihoods Sector, together with the anthropologist Fernando Fileno, carried out research in the Pintolândia and Janokoida Shelters. In Pintolândia, 190 interviews were carried out, a 70% coverage of the population, while in the Janokoida, 92% of the inhabitants responded to the survey, totaling 192 people.

According to the coordination of the Livelihoods Sector, the results of the labor survey will provide input to identify target groups and develop new strategies for 2021.

Find out more about the Roraima Humanitarian Mission.