Reinforced concrete and a uniform of hope

Publish date 04-06-2024

by Redazione Sermig

In recent months, already wandering around the Arsenal of Hope, it hasn't been It's rare to come across several men in construction workers' uniforms. You can find them a little everywhere, sitting on the benches, walking along the avenues, eating in the refectory. In the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening... it is It's really difficult not to notice these men complete with reflective stripes.
At first glance, they might seem like workers from an external company, engaged in some maintenance work, but for those who frequent the Arsenale their faces are quite familiar. These are guests. But what are they doing dressed like that? Where do those uniforms come from?

In collaboration with SENAI (National Service for Industrial Training, a private body which, at a national level, aims to stimulate industrial innovation through education, consultancy and research in and for companies) and with the construction company Mendes Junior, the Ar­senale della Speranza is offering its guests a course in the installation of reinforced concrete/concrete. And not only that... after 10 days of apprenticeship, for many of them there is immediately the possibility to be hired by Mendes Junior to work on the construction of a new metro line in São Paulo. A precious opportunity to start over and to put something aside to pay rent and regain independence.
Experiencing the 24 hours of the Arsenale, we know well that behind each of these identical uniforms there are many stories, each different from the other. Exchanging a smile every day, a word of encouragement, a compliment... each, in their own way, told us with enthusiasm how that steel structure is important in the construction process: « &` the basis, the beginning of everything and is something you can't do alone, there is need the collaboration of the entire group, always keeping in mind the importance of that work for everything that will come after».

One of these men, aged 45, has obtained a regularly registered job for the first time, several others come from foreign countries, such as Angola, Tunisia... Now, thanks to this opportunity ; they can finally find a way to settle in Brazil.

We spoke with Chileb, 24 years old, who arrived three months ago from Tu­nisia. We asked him why he chose to come to Brazil. «I chose Brazil because I don't feel discriminated against here even though I'm a foreigner. I spent two years in Türkiye, in Istanbul. There there was a lot of racism, I couldn't either. work or study, just because I was a foreigner. I was not entitled to a residence permit, but only a temporary permit. After sleeping for two weeks in a metro station in Sao Paulo, they told me about the Arsenal of Hope. I arrived and started studying Portuguese and looking for a job. I managed to finish the training course, even though it's difficult for me. a little more It's difficult to understand all the words, but it's easy. It was possible thanks to the help of the other classmates. I chose this course because I already have I worked in the construction area and have an electrician diploma. I hope this will allow me to make a new life here in Brazil."

In just a few months Chi­leb is He went from having to stand on the cold floor of a subway station to being one of those who will help lay the foundations of a new station in this immense city. Stories of hope and transformation, beyond of uniforms.

The Fraternity of Sermig in Brazil
NP April 2024

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