Three months have passed since Davi returned to Brazil and he’s already beginning to miss the Netherlands, especially the care and comfort he received from the Pirson family, all his friends in Genhout, the good job at Leaven and GSV28, and the football club. Davi has reaffirmed that Brazil is his homeland, but he would love to visit his host family and friends again in the near future. His siblings are well, and happy to have back their older brother. They were genuinely concerned that their brother and role model wouldn’t return home to Brazil. They feel inspired with him back. Besides his weekly visits with them, Davi makes certain to see them for events and special occasions. For example, Davi recently attended a play in which his brother Luciano performed.
Staying with Rui
Davi has been staying with Rui since his return. Rui is Davi’s friend and a former volunteer at the Casa do Caminho orphanage. To be welcomed by a good friend has been an amazing support for Davi. Rui has a pleasant apartment in Recreio, a suburb close to the beach. Rui’s place is just right for Davi. It’s a great apartment and he has access to amazing amenities including a swimming pool! Rui offered Davi his place to stay – 100% free – until the end of the year. Thanks Rui!
Davi has done all he can to initiate the adoption process. The letter he sent a few months ago from the Netherlands had such an impact that the possible adoption of his youngest siblings, Tiago and Luciana, by an unknown family was prevented. Still, after his return, it has been difficult to meet with the judge. On a number of occasions Davi has had to travel for several hours to try and meet the judge without luck. It is in moments such as these when Davi demonstrates his characteristic perseverance and strength.
In the meantime, Davi has had to support his mother, who has been suffering from some health issues. Davi and his older brother Charles rented a small room for their mother to stay safely. Initially, Davi hoped to have his mother taking care of his siblings while he studies at university, but with her precarious health conditions he realized that this was not a realistic option. Davi is now considering asking his sister Angélica to take care of his siblings while he studies.
Finally, five weeks ago, Davi met with the judge and discussed the situation with her. The judge has given Davi three months to organize a suitable accommodation in order to start the adoption process. If he can do this, his siblings would start visiting on the weekends under supervision of a social worker to see how things go. If things go well and there are positive developments, Davi will be able to take custody of Tiago and Luciana. This would be the great news that Davi has been hoping for. As for his adolescent brothers, Vitor and Luciano: Vitor will soon turn 18 and Luciano is turning 16. Once Vitor has turned 18, he will be free to decide where he wants to live. Davi believes that he will move in with his mom. This would both allow Vitor a safe place to live and the capability to support their mother. Luciano will remain at the orphanage for now, because Davi thinks he is doing well. Also, he believes it is wiser to unite his family step by step.
Meanwhile, Maurice Wiericks from Beek in the Netherlands visited Davi in Brazil, and kindly introduced him to Frans Nederstigt, a Dutch lawyer who has been living for many years in Rio. He specializes in circumstances such as those affecting Davi’s family, and therefore understands and can help with the process that Davi is going through. Frans has promised Davi that if he experiences obstacles during the adoption process he will be able to count on his valuable advice and legal support.
Davi Accepted for University, an incredible achievement!
Davi took the “Enem” test a few weeks ago. This is a national exam that gives prospective students access to public universities in Brazil. The exam is taken by five million Brazilians and, on average, only one in five pass the exam. Davi will receive his results in February, but the chances that Davi passes the exam is small. The alternative would be for Davi to attend a private university, for which he would need to pay. Davi’s former employer in Xerem had some contacts at UNISUAM, a well recognized University in Rio, that provides scholarships for special cases. Without anyone asking, Davi went a few times to talk to the University Coordinator and kept us informed about the progress. He had to do an exam which he passed, and this week Davi was granted a scholarship for the university that will cover all his expenses. No words can describe this achievement. And this from a guy who never went to school until he was 10, then only 10 years later he’s accepted to University on scholarship, speaks 3 languages and much more!
Davi’s job as a tour guide at Caminhos Language Centre
It is important to state that Davi has not been contracted to work at the Caminhos Language Centre out of goodwill. The Language Centre needed a reliable, hard working and English-speaking fun tour guide and host for foreign students. And who better than Davi to take the job! His job is to organize most of the after-class activities, including: Monday’s volleyball session; Thursday’s favela tour and evening football match (Davi’s favorite!); and Friday’s “shitty” tour. The “shitty tour” is different every week: ranging from hikes up in the hills surrounding Rio for students to get an incredible view of the city, to visiting the famous Christ the Redeemer statue (‘Cristo Redentor’) or Sugar Loaf Mountain (‘Pão de Açúcar’), or taking a bike tour around Lagoa, among many more activities. Everybody – students, teachers and colleagues – love Davi.
When Davi has to do a new tour he’s never done before, he decides to run through the entire tour himself the previous day in order to learn the route and all its ins and outs. A student of the language school recently commented, “Davi has the Brazilian flair with the European mentality”.
Besides the tours, Davi assists at the Language Centre reception, carries out small maintenance jobs and generally helps where he’s needed. His salary is decent, but by working well he can also earn some bonuses. He is Number One when it comes to earning bonuses at the school so far. Davi is proud of his job. Once Davi starts studying in the evening it will be possible for him to work flexible hours, and – if he prefers – he will be able to take a job somewhere else. But Davi loves his job so the chances, and our luck, will be that he stays.
Fortunately, with some support from the Netherlands, his income should be enough for him to cover all of his educational expenses!
The next steps
Some crucial months are ahead for Davi. Everything seems to be on track but there remains challenges ahead of him. Davi must quickly find a place to rent nearby his university, because the judge has only given him until January to find a place. Davi’s potential location is very important: he must choose it carefully to ensure he will not be affected by Rio’s chaotic transport system and traffic situation since choosing incorrectly could cost Davi precious hours each day. Metro would be the best mode of transport for him to rely on, so renting a place near the Metro would be a sensible option because the school is only a five minutes walk from the Metro. It goes without saying that his choice of accommodation must be affordable, safe and large enough for his family to stay. We will then be able use the funds that have been raised to help Davi furnish his home so that will be ready for the first visit from his siblings.
Thanks to Rui and the Language Centre, Davi has received a warm welcome back! We will keep you posted and issue another newsletter about Davi’s progress in a few months.
Financial overview donations Davi
Since Davi is supported by a large number of individual donors we like to transparently share the financial situation.
Costs of Davi in Brazil:
|So far Davi has made no use of the donations as his accommodation was free and University didn’t start||0 Euros|
Funds available for Davi:
We have built up an important financial buffer to support Davi in his plans. In the coming months Davi will rent a place and will need to furnish his new home. In the next newsletter about Davi we will present an overview of the expenses.
At the moment a combination of 80 donors cumulatively donate 550 euros per month for 6 years. This and his income should bring Davi quite far in supporting his family and completing his education at university. Still Davi will live on a tight budget. If you would like to help Davi and his family realize their dreams, we still would like to reach a goal of 750 euro per month in order to guarantee Davi and his family’s future. You can donate directly through our PayPal account.
This story underlines the fact that while you study Portuguese at the Caminhos Language Centre you indirectly support unprivileged families to realize their dreams.caminhoslanguages.com
Davi and his family are further supported by a group of 80 donors through the SAEB foundation.