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FROM NIGERIA TO BRAZIL: THE STORY OF A PREGNANT REFUGEE WHO NEVER LOST HOPE

                           Lateefat Adunni Hassan, 38 years. Behind the sad eyes there is hope. An emotion capable of touching everyone around. The Nigerian came to Brazil two years ago with her youngest daughter, Thekiyat, aged 7, and started cooking typical Nigerian dishes for a living. Pregnant, Lateefat never stopped working, and managed to pay the rent in Rio de Janeiro. She helped the project “Chega Junto”, which, in return, organized a baby shower for her in November, 25th.

 

                            Coming from northern Nigeria, Lateefat says she and her ex-husband had some problems with Boko Haram, a terrorist group that pledged allegiance to Daesh (ISIL):

 

They came into our house and I had to hide. They hurt my ex-husband. I was living sick and afraid. So, I got a Brazilian visa and I came with my youngest daughter.

 

                           Arriving here, she was forwarded by the Federal Police to Caritas, which has a refugee assistance programme called Pares. There, she received aid, and had the chance to start a new life. It was through Caritas that the refugee, who hardly speaks Portuguese, knew the project “Chega Junto”. Luciara Mota, the project’s coordinator, explains how it works:

 

Every month we would call a different refugee to cook. We had a space inside the Local Board fair. After a year, we managed to gather enough people to create our own fair, “Chega Junto”

 

                          Every last Saturday of the month, 20 families of refugees and immigrants come together to cook typical dishes, interact and exchange experiences. The last fair of 2017 was special. It became a bigger event due to Lateefat’s baby shower. Dozens of people came to the event, and they not only tasted dishes from different countries, but also helped Lateefat pay her rent and buy clothes and products to her baby that is about to born. Caritas already has a project called “Baby Shower of Refugee Moms”, and Lateefat’s Baby Shower came to reinforce this project.

 

                          Although Lateefa may give birth soon, the campaign will continue receiving donations. To Lateefat, everyone can make a difference:

 

 Any help is welcome

 

 

 

 

By Larissa Infante

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