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22/05/2017 - 07:00hs

Barber offers training course in Jordan

Thiago Lorenzetti, from Criciúma, 199 km from Florianópolis, travelled to the Arab country to teach his craft to Syrian refugees. He’s part of a group of Brazilians that volunteer to offer help to immigrants.

São Paulo – On a 15-day stretch, between April and May, a barber from Santa Catarina ministered a barber course to Syrians living in areas near the United Nations (UN) refugee camps in Jordan. The teaching of the refugees is part of a project created by minister Alessando Campos, from Criciúma, 199 km from Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, head of the Movement Brazil for Syria (MBPS, in the Portuguese acronym).

In November, Campos travelled for the first time to Jordan on a mission that distributed food baskets, blankets, clothing and other supplies to Syrian refugees. “That’s when I realized that, besides giving them the fish, we could help them immensely by teaching them how to fish,” he said in an interview to ANBA.

He sought help in Criciúma, where he lives and takes part in many social projects, and joined a group of seven people to go back to Jordan at the end of April. In addition to the usual aid of clothing and good, he brought doctors, dentists and business owners to expand the array of aid offered to the refugees.

“The doctors and dentists worked for free with the people of those areas, the majority of them refugees that didn’t get access to the UN camps or already left them – and those that get out can’t return,” explains Campos. “And the barber course is part of a project created to teach a profession to that population.”

The course’s teacher was Thiago Lorenzetti, from Santa Catarina. He, as well as the others joining the trip, covered his own expenses with air tickets and lodging, but accepted donations to cover for equipment, such as hair clippers, combs, beauty products, etc. The fifteen refugees that finished the course received a full kit to begin in the profession, plus an international certificate.

“They can work in their new profession anywhere in the world,” said minister Campos, who’s already organizing a new trip. “This time we want to bring more professionals to teach courses to the refugees. There are many people that wished they had taken part in this trip but couldn’t, and now they can join the next one,” he says, without setting a date.

Among those that possibly will take part is the owner of a skateboard shop who even wants to set up a skateboard park for the refugees to have fun and improve their self-esteem, according to Campos.


The minister says that one of the delegation’s participants that travelled to Jordan is a business owner that’s planning to open a plant in the Arab country to employ the refugees. “He travelled with us to prospect business, talk with authorities and see if he can put together the project,” he says. The idea, according to Campos, is to produce slippers – here, the business owner works with footwear distribution.

The founder of MBPS is also planning to register a trademark for the licensing of products here in Brazil, with royalties being transferred to the aid of Syrian refugees in Jordan. According to him, aiding others was always his dream. “Currently I am prioritizing the Syrians, but I have always tried to take part in the community here in Criciúma. And because of that I have made many contacts to help in this new mission,” explains the minister.

*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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