Action for Peace #51
In Amsterdam, thousands of people live without a residence permit. (estimation 2013: 35.000) – They usually work in restaurants, cleaning jobs or in factories. During the COVID-19 period a lot of them lost their jobs and didn’t have any income. Many are depending on food donations right now. We distiguish undocumented people with and without asylum past. This workcamp supported children from Brazilian families without asylum past.
After a few weeks of an accelerated organization during the lockdown, the workcamp took place. It was a week full of activities for 40 children between 4 and 12 years old. The participants in the workcamp were five Dutch volunteers, five international volunteers (from the Czech Republic, Portugal, Brazil, and Spain) and four Brazilian teenagers from the same community of the children.
It was an unforgettable week where they visited various Amsterdam city parks and museums, participated in a puppet workshop, practiced capoeira, went to a school farm, carried out a theater workshop, shared funny breakfasts and lunches, sang, and danced. In short, they shared quality time, developing healthy and enriching leisure activities, and, the most important thing, it was based on SCI essence: realities exchange!
After this experience, they all know better the day-to-day reality of thousands of people with whom they share a city, neighborhood, or flat without knowing. Volunteers also had the opportunity to learn about the position of children of illegal migrant workers.
Now, they share not only physical space but also empathy.
25th July – 01st August, 2020
The workcamp was organised by VIA Netherlands in collaboration with ‘Giving Back’, an initiative that supports a large group of Brazilian migrants in Amsterdam. These families are living in the Netherlands for many years and are raising their children. The children go to school (any child has the right to go to school) but are not registered in the Netherlands. They cannot go abroad and parents have no money for holidays.