The Association for Social Integration (Ainteso), an organization that brings together Haitians living in Porto Alegre, has been organizing, since the end of 2020, charter flights between Port-au-Prince and the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, to facilitate the reunion of families of Haitians who are already living in Brazil for several years.
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A new charter flight arrived in Porto Alegre this Monday morning (26) bringing 183 people from Haiti, most of them children and teenagers, belonging to 136 different families.
A part of them will stay in Porto Alegre and other cities in Rio Grande do Sul. The rest will accompany their families to other states in which they are already living.
Today, according to official data, there are 17,682 Haitians living in RS, most of them (3,699) in Porto Alegre. The second largest concentration of Haitians is in Caxias do Sul (2,476) and the third in Bento Gonçalves (2,361).
The charter flights are the result of an agreement made by Ainteso with Companhia Aérea Azul with the aim of facilitating migratory flows between the two countries, as commercial flights have been frequently cancelled, especially since the beginning of the new coronavirus pandemic.
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The Association managed to sign a special price with the airline and the flights are paid exclusively by Haitian passengers, not counting subsidies from governments, non-governmental organizations or companies.
Ainteso accompanies children and teenagers during the trip, thus guaranteeing the reunion of families that would not have the money to pay companions for their underage children to make the trip. The Association’s initiative is enabling the reunion of family members who were separated for months or even years.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the difficulties and obstacles in the migratory flow between Haiti and Brazil have grown, says social worker Bibiana Waquil, supporter of the Association for Social Integration. “Getting a visa at the Brazilian embassy in Haiti has become much more difficult,” he points out.
Faced with these difficulties, the Association for Social Integration filed a lawsuit in the 6th Federal Court of Porto Alegre and obtained an injunction to guarantee the coming of Haitians to Brazil, even without a visa, thus enabling the reunion of families who were separated.
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“There are families that have been in Brazil for eight years now, working hard to be able to bring their relatives here,” says Bibiana Waquil.
All the people who arrived in Porto Alegre this Monday, the social worker also points out, underwent PCR tests (to detect covid-19) in Port-au-Prince and filled out a registration with the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa).
At the municipal level, an articulation between Ainteso and the City Hall will ensure the delivery of a kit with masks and alcohol gel for Haitians and Haitians who have just arrived, as well as informational material, written in the Creole language, on preventive care to be taken against the Covid-19.
Source: BdF Rio Grande do Sul
Edition: South 21