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NGOs Create CV Database to Help Refugees Find Jobs in Brazil

12/26/2017 - 12h47

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FILIPE OLIVEIRA
FROM SÃO PAULO

Brazil has always opened its doors to refugees in search of a new life, but it has never done a good job at helping them blend in. Some are trying to help improve the country's hospitality.

Organizations dedicated to helping refugees are coming up with alternatives in order to help them overcome the most delicate of issues upon arrival: finding a job.

Now, the CVs of refugees can be easily accessed through a database called the Support Program for the Reallocation of Refugees (Programa de Apoio para a Recolocação dos Refugiados). The database created by the NGO contains over 2,000 CVs.

In order to access them, companies need to register on the Refugees Brazil (Refugiados do Brasil) webpage.

Accessing CVs at the Livraria Cultura bookstore at the Conjunto Nacional, in São Paulo, is an even easier task.

Images of refugees flicker on a computer screen set up by the Estou Refugiado NGO (or "I'm a refugee"). Passersby can put on a headset and click a button, summoning up the picture of a particular refugee along with a video that tells their story. At the end, the computer prints out a copy of their CV.

According to the National Committee for Refugees, which is a branch of the Justice Ministry, 31,505 people requested asylum in Brazil between the months of January and November.

All told, 10,300 requests were put forward in 2016. The increase from one year to the next was caused by the arrival of nearly 16,800 Venezuelans.

Most of the refugees who come to Brazil have no intention of returning to their country of origin.

Unlike those who momentarily flee to a neighboring country until a given conflict is resolved, the asylum sought by such refugees calls for integration.

Many leave their children, parents and spouses behind in hopes of one day flying them over once they have settled in.

The main challenges faced by refugees upon arrival include: obtaining information in a foreign language, finding temporary shelter and getting a job.

"Every month I send money to my four children. I want to bring them here", said Pierre Okok, 39, a Congolese doctor who arrived in Brazil two years ago. He and his wife work as street sweepers in São Paulo.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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