The Needy Community Learns Languages and Refugees Have a Source of Income

by | Nov 5, 2018 | News, Society of St. Vincent de Paul

A French course in Rio de Janeiro (RJ, Brazil) can cost up to R $ 900 [approximately 220 euros, 250 dollars]. The price keeps populations in regions that are most in need away of the dream of learning a new language. They do not live in Duque de Caxias, Belford Roxo or Nova Iguazú, in the descent of Fluminense. There it is possible to learn English, French and Spanish, paying a monthly fee of R $ 100 [approx. 25 euros, 28 dollars].

The courses are offered within the project Escambo de Cultura [culture exchange], founded by brother Márcio Dias Barbosa (44), member of the San Sebastián Conference of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. In addition to giving the community access to a new language, the initiative benefits refugee families, since classes are taught by immigrants who arrived in the region and were unemployed. “The most important thing, within our project, is that everyone benefits, the students, who can pay a cheaper monthly payment, and the refugees, who have a source of income,” says brother Márcio.

Language classroom within the Escambo de Cultura project

Classes are taught in parishes. The project has contributed to the promotion of nine emigrant families from Pakistan, Honduras, Venezuela, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Gambia.

Courses last six months and three modules are available: basic, intermediate and advanced. Each teacher earns about R $ 2,000 per month [approx. 480 euros, 540 dollars].

Last October 20, Escambo de Cultura celebrated its second year from foundation. “We know that there is still much to be done, but the focus on our objectives, such as welcoming, valuing human beings, sharing experiences and bringing a language with accessible cost to those who need it, does not allow us to be discouraged,” says Márcio.

According to brother Márcio, the project is based in the exhortation of Pope Francis, who asks respect for immigrants. “It’s about men and women, old people and children, who are forced to leave their homes in the hope of saving themselves and finding peace and security elsewhere.”


The Society of St. Vincent de Paul National Council of Brazil (CNB / SSVP) approved and financed the Exchange in the School Social Project. The purpose of this initiative is to offer means of integration between refugee and Brazilian children in educational institutions, mainly through cultural activities, such as theater.

It will start next year.


Tags: Brazil


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