Sphere’s focal point organisation in Brazil, Fraternidade-Federação Humanitária Internacional (FFHI), recently completed the translation of the Sphere Handbook into Brazilian Portuguese. You can now download the PDF for free from the Sphere website or purchase a print copy from FFHI’s affiliated publishing house IRDIN.
The new version, which took several months of work and great commitment from several FFHI volunteers, will benefit Portuguese-speaking humanitarian actors in at least four continents. Two years after its release, the 2018 edition of the Sphere Handbook is available in nine languages, while many more are currently in the making.
Sphere spoke to Friar Luciano, the FFHI’s General Manager, to better understand how the translation will support the work of his agency as well as humanitarian activities across Brazil. Read his interview below.
Friar Luciano, what are the major challenges currently faced by the humanitarian community in Brazil?
Since 2016, Brazil has received hundreds of thousands of migrants and asylum-seekers from Venezuela. This represents a major challenge for humanitarian agencies in the country, which are trying to respond to an unprecedented migration flow. We need to handle requests for refugee status, document human rights abuses, provide at least basic access to health and hygiene services… At the same time, we are trying to put in place lasting solutions through the Humanitarian Task Force “Welcoming Operation”, implemented by the federal government through a committee of ministries.
For our collaborators, who are all trained on the Sphere standards, it will be a major tool to evaluate our performance and review our implementation of standards
How is the Brazilian Portuguese translation going to support the work of your organisation?
FFHI volunteer missionaries have been working across Brazil and other countries since 2011. Our organisation provides services across a very wide range of areas, including education in emergencies, first aid, health and psychological care, animal rescue during disasters, assistance during fires in rural areas, inter-agency coordination and emergency training. Most of these areas are covered by the Handbook. For our collaborators, who are all trained on the Sphere standards, it will be a major tool to evaluate our performance and review our implementation of standards in humanitarian and emergency responses.
The translation of the Sphere Handbook into Brazilian Portuguese will also greatly support other agencies with whom we’ve been in touch. In our role as Sphere focal point in Brazil, we have introduced the Handbook to several organisations, professionals, and municipal and state governments; they realised how much they will benefit from its content, especially in the context of current crisis in the Roraima State (close with the Venezuelan border) and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because of the way it is organised – in a didactic way – the Sphere Handbook helps local agencies become familiar with international standards
Will the Brazilian Portuguese handbook have a broader impact on humanitarian work at the regional level?
Because of the way it is organised – in a didactic way – the Sphere Handbook helps local agencies become familiar with international standards and provide a better humanitarian response. The new language edition will be very useful across Brazil’s 26 states and municipal governments to strengthen and expand their humanitarian response capacity, especially in challenging contexts like the Roraima Humanitarian Mission.
FFHI volunteers and collaborators regularly conduct training with other humanitarian agencies, government departments, civil defense agencies and NGOs. Having the Sphere Handbook available in Portuguese will allow us to better share its messages with the national agencies working around humanitarian crises and emergencies. We hope our dissemination activities with the training centers of the armed forces and other institutions, on-going dialogue and meetings with key government and corporate actors will further improve their understanding of international protocols on emergency response. If we act together, aligned and following the Sphere standards, we shall all achieve greater results.