In today’s troubled times, day after day we see the number of women, men, children, young people and the elderly who travel on roads, cross cities and seas in search of restoring their life prospects that were undone by wars, conflicts, or environmental calamities.
The Fraternity – International Humanitarian Federation (FFHI) took upon itself the responsibility of taking a compassionate and fraternal look at each of those beings, providing them with the most urgent material needs, and through values that addressed the common good, uplifted them in consciousness to a dignified existence.
To achieve this mission, it counts on the collaboration of a team of selfless volunteers. More than that: all the work done by the Fraternity is done by volunteers.
As Friar Luciano, the general manager of the Humanitarian Fraternity (FFHI), explains that a mutual support connection is established between the institution and the volunteer which is indispensable for providing humanitarian aid.
“The Humanitarian Fraternity (FFHI) provides beforehand everything the volunteer may need during the time in which they are representing the institution: food, lodging, transportation, health, leaving the consciousness and the time of the volunteer completely focused on being available to identify the situation others are experiencing; having the possibility of finding a solution based on listening to the people, and interacting with them to try to perceive what the best solution is, what options exist, how to collaborate.
The volunteer is of great value, because they work out of love for their fellow being, out of love for that situation that is unfolding before them, and that needs a balancing action so they can act there, and have their consciousness totally unimpeded and free of care about material returns.
And we, besides welcoming the volunteer (…), have a job to do for the Training and Development sector, which is the job of training the volunteer team. The volunteers are taught in five areas of training and will then work on one or more areas, based on the code of conduct of the Humanitarian Fraternity (FFHI), with the internal and ethical values that the institution develops and with their professional technical training. The certifications ensure that our performance, being voluntary, is no less supported by professional training. Thus, this ensures the pursuit of continuous excellence on the part of our teams.
As we are not interested in compensation for what we do, even when there is some material instability, some exceptional situation, the volunteer is prepared. They have values that the Humanitarian Fraternity (FFHI) normally develops so as to give a little more of themselves, and do not see this as an obstacle, but rather an even greater opportunity for the giving of self and serving a fellow being, where regardless of the unusualness or the overload of a pandemic, of a risk of contamination, of assistance during the night, are situations in which, as volunteers, we offer our presence to give with excellence, with professionalism, with brotherhood, with fellowship. We are available, and that is of great value; it is one of the greatest values that the Humanitarian Fraternity (FFHI) develops.”
Stories of missionaries who were active in the humanitarian missions developed by the Humanitarian Fraternity (FFHI)
Isabella Ataídes is a volunteer that was active in the Roraima Mission and has already had various experiences in the humanitarian response. She has been motivated since her time in the university, when she chose to study mainly the fields of immigration and refugees. She worked in the Brumadinho Mission, in the Pastoral Migrant Service, in Florianópolis, and in France, in the city of Calais, with homeless refugees. In her final coursework, in the area of livelihoods, she addressed the survival strategy of Syrian refugees in the refugee camp of Zaatari, in Jordan.
This experience caused her to become involved in the sector of Means of Life of the Roraima Mission, which has the goal of providing lasting solutions for the refugees, through the offering of certification courses, such as computer science, haircutting, bread making, and leadership.
“I love working in this area, because we can see the dreams that they [the refugees] have, the desires. They are surprising us a lot in the courses; they are showing themselves to be very responsible, dedicated. It can be seen that they are receiving the impulse to continue with their life; they are thinking of the future, of work; in fact, about other courses. It is already possible to see the results,” the missionary points out.
The most striking experiences for Isabella are those in which she had the closest contact with the refugees in the courses, and in particular, with the indigenous children in the Janokoida Shelter, who overflow with purity and love, qualifying the respectful relationship between volunteers and the people assisted.
According to her, “to hear their stories, to hear about their dreams, to see them striving to reach some place, inspires us a lot to continue, because one can see that in some way, the work is generating results. Even when they are still small steps, we feel we are contributing in some way, and that what is acquired as learning is much more than what is done here, because in the resilience they show as they continue to smile, continue to take care of each other, in spite of any situation they go through, one can see they really do not feel any resentment and continue lovingly with their lives.”
And she concludes: “I learned a lot in the humanitarian area of refugees, which is the area I am interested in as a study, to see in practice the relationship of the institutions with the actions of each participant in the field; to see how the Humanitarian Fraternity (FFHI) acts, see the differences in each organization and the qualitative work done by the FFHI. I am very happy to wear the Humanitarian Fraternity (FFHI) T-shirt, because one can see that the recipients greatly value, greatly recognize all the work done by the institution, for the work done more with the individuals, beyond the work done with the collective, the care of each person that is in the shelter, as well as outside of it.”
With the same vocation for the common good, Viviane Naves tells us that she came into contact with the humanitarian mission of the Humanitarian Fraternity (FFHI) through videos and the institution website.
Motivated by the messages of Christ and by the urgency to help people most in need of aid, she had a missionary experience in Carmo da Cachoeira (MG) in 2018, and this year, for the first time, she was in a humanitarian mission.
She was a teacher in the Computer Science Lab of the Janokoida Shelter, in Boa Vista. She helped some with their school assignments, developed activities in design, fine motor coordination, attention, concentration, use of colors, geometric shapes and lines. She also had an opportunity to help in the sale of handicrafts produced by the women of the Warao tribe in the Janokoida Shelter.
Touched by the excitement of the children in the computer classes, when she returned home, she carried an important lesson in her luggage:
“Never leave for tomorrow what you can do today. The tasks are many, but everything you do must be with much love, attention and dedication.”
The humanitarian response that the Humanitarian Fraternity (FFHI) provides for facing the vulnerable situation of refugees in the country and abroad would not be possible without the unconditional work of the volunteers who, regardless of their area of experience, decide to spontaneously give of themselves with no desire for something in return, and only receiving what is necessary to be able to offer the best of the self to others.
Our gratitude to all the volunteers that make this mission of love possible!
To learn about the volunteer work, go to: fraterinternacional.org.br