A strong brother
A year and a half ago, people from the Brazilian Children’s Protection took João’s brothers with them. Miguel, a baby of 1 year. And Ismael, a 9-year-old boy. João of 13 was left alone with his mother Elisangela (who never gets her life in order). For João there was no place in the children’s home of Florianópolis.
He could go to ASAS. Since 2017 he has come there five times a week, every afternoon. An ordinary, spontaneous, and sweet boy at first sight. But when you start talking about his brothers, the tears come.
He has accepted that he has no father. He never knew him. But now that his brothers are gone and he has to live every day with the fear that they will end up with an adoption family, that is painfull and hard to accept for João. He wants to see them, be the big, strong brother for them, protect them from the dangers you run into when you grow up in a favela in Brazil.
João’s mother is sweet, but she drinks too much and she does not give any structure to life at home. She has tried everything to feed her children and keep them off the streets. For a while there was also a stepfather in the house. But he mistreated João’s mother and gave food only to the baby, because ‘the other children were not his’ … In the end child protection could only do one thing: intervene.
The hours spent at ASAS João makes the most of. He prefers Capoeira, that Brazilian mix between playing, dancing, acrobatics and fighting. Capoeira stands for friendship, making connections. For João it is also an outlet, a way to express itself. Self-control is everything. By moving, he becomes – spiritually and physically – fitter and stronger. He learns how to focus and how nice it is to train for something. Becoming better in something, receiving compliments from others, being seen, he did not really know that feeling.
João feels responsible for his mother. He would love to pull her out of the misery. He knows that a miracle is needed for that. But … ASAS also just dropped from heaven! Thanks to the conversations with the social worker, he no longer has to solve all his problems alone. And thanks to the extracurricular activities, he now has a plan for the future.
He knows where to start if he wants to achieve something. At school. His dream is that he can continue learning. Maybe he will become a lawyer. Then he can stand up for all those people who struggle, who have to fight for their existence.
João is determined to make something of his life. For his mother. But especially for his brothers.