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Hi Shane,

About the pilot, the courses will have 35 hours on July and will be taken at night - it´s an intensive course. The courses will have traditional classes and also cultural classes. For example, we will have practical arabic culinary classes, learning how to make traditional dishes and also learning about food and kitchen ortography.

For each refugee, there´s a group of volunteers helping them since middle march. The volunteers will also participate as monitors in classes, to help the teachers if they have any doubts.

The whole project is focused on partnerships and our idea is to unite the various organizations that work with the refugge cause. Now, we also have partnerships with Adus, L'Amour Movies, and Performaweb. We´re also trying to partner with Cáritas and with the government.

On the pilot, we want to test the following:

1. Student acceptance: are people interested on learning with refugees? How much are they wiiling pay?
2. Teachers capacity: are the refugees ready to teach? Do they have the personal skills? How much training do they need?
3. Financial viability: how many classes do you need to be financially viable - paying rents, teachers and structuture? What are the investiments we need to hold the free techical courses to refugees?
4. Scalability: can we scale the "Cultural Hug" to other cities? What are the staff, structure and financials required to that?

Thank you for your questions! =)

Hi Caroline, thank you for your comment.

To change the mindset of seeing the refugees not only as "receivers" is great part of the idea.

We're reaching the "refugee community" by partnering with local organizations that already work with them, usually offering free portuguese lessons. Also, in São Paulo, there´s a "shelter" provided by the government that refugees can stay for 3 months and we have contact with them
 
To help refugees to enter the local market, we are partnering with a social program provided by an enterprise called EMDOC. Their social program focus on breaking the barriers of local enterprises to hire refugees. The partnership is not stablished, but I hope we have good news on the next weeks.

André

Thank you! We're very excited with the initiative and the pilot!