Ronaldo’s life continues

From high school drop-out to role model

As the uncle of the ten-year-old girl Bia, Ronaldo is now putting himself into a role model position. The two share a really close relationship and like spending time with each other, be it at the beach or just around their neighborhood. Ronaldo wants Bia to “be someone” in life.

Ronaldo is fearing that Bia could meet the wrong people and make poor life choices, like dropping out of school. He wants her to focus on her studies, go to university, create amazing friendships, explore the world travelling, but most important of all: to become an independent and good-hearted young woman.

Gladly, Bia is a bright and intelligent kid. However, she gets many curveballs thrown her way in everyday life. Due to Bia’s mum being a single parent, Bia is required to help take care of her little brother when her mother is busy, even if that means occasionally missing school days. Due to inconsistent school visits and the poor school education, she and many of her peers are struggling to read and write. Sadly, high analphabetism rates are no rarity in this part of Brazil. Over 13% of the population of Bahia is unable to read and write, this percentage being the highest in the whole country and rising annually.

Bia’s and Ronaldo’s stories are no exceptions.

Growing up in an underprivileged neighborhood like Passagem, many kids constantly get exposed to dangers in their daily lives. Be it criminality, violence and trafficking or the lacking support and encouragement, the poor education, as well as structural violence, racism and social inequalities.

ETIV do Brasil is trying to change that. Education is the key to systematic change to guarantee environmental conservation and youth development. By offering diverse free programs like English teaching, Health education, Environmental and swimming classes, Bia and the kids of our neighborhood are encouraged to learn and develop themselves further.

Despite all the things that Bia went through, she is a strong little girl. Bia is determined to accomplish something in life and is eager to learn English by participating in ETIV do Brasil’s language program. She loves joking around with her friends and playing catch on the streets.

Ronaldo and Bia’s stories are very inspiring, considering their willpower and determination to change their lives for the better.

 We asked Ronaldo to give some advice to other young people and this is what he said:

“Study. The basis of everything is knowledge. If you like something, whether it is a sport or any other activity, go for it. Keep investing your time in that thing that you love and be determined. Always keep in mind to be respectful, to have sympathy, and to aim at acquiring wisdom. The latter is something you will take with you for your entire life, something you can never lose.”

by Ana-Catalina Espinoza


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