A room with toys at Children's Village Jacarepaguá, Brazil
Young people on the road to success
A room with toys at Children's Village Jacarepaguá, Brazil
Being Successful? How is that? Get to know the stories of five successful young people who grew up in Brazilian SOS Children's Villages and, thanks to the 'Emprendedorismo' (entrepreneurship) programs of the organisation, have had an interesting personal and professional development. All of them are looking forward to a promising future.
Carlos Eduardo, Paulo Cesar, Luis Carlos, Edilson and Patricia are five of the many youths that have participated in the 'Emprendedorismo' program. The initiative of SOS Children's Villages Brazil consists of a series of workshops dealing with the motivation and behavior of adolescents so as to help them grasp the idea of job generation and life construction.
The program includes topics such as the job market, human relationships, and social sensitization. Participants look for establishing supportive partnerships with local social organizations, governmental programs, and - on their own initiatives - anyone/anything else who/that can be of help in the process of forming an enterprise.
Carlos Eduardo (22) He was welcomed to SOS Children's Village Jacarepaguá in Rio de Janeiro at the age of one. After having completed a basic course on computer science and PC assembly/maintenance, he soon found a vacancy as a computer science teacher at a local educational institution. He constantly improved his skills and later became a computer science technician for an accounting company in the city of Ubatuba (close to São Paulo).
"Without my computer skills, I don't know how my life would look like today. In the SOS Children's Village, I learned how to enjoy life, to respect people and to think in the future, but 'Emprendedorismo' is really a great step forward," says Edu (short for Eduardo).
Carlos Eduardo has created his own website (www.edureis.com) where he shows some of the results of his expertise in computer science. But that's still not enough for him; he believes in something greater than that: "I want to start my own family, have children and open my own computer science company."
Paulo Cesar (21) "I arrived at SOS Children's Village Brasilia when I was six and have been a beneficiary of the organization for 13 years, until I became independent," says Paulo Cesar, today a successful computer programmer. His daily routine begins at 6:30 am when he leaves home to get to work on time. After a long working day, he leaves his office at 5:30 pm, but not to relax; he goes to a local university where he is measuring in information systems. "I will soon finish my career and become a professional in systems," he says with pride.
Throughout his life, Paulo Cesar has received a great deal of qualified training to become successful. So, today, he feels strong enough to share background information about his success with other boys and girls who have just begun to dream of their future. "Take the maximum advantage of opportunities given to you," he states. "We are what we want to be."
Luis Carlos (25) At SOS Children's Village Santa Maria in Rio Grande do Sul, social worker Camila Agostta highlights with pride the life achievements of Luis Carlos. "He arrived at the village when he was three. He married a good woman with whom he has two beautiful kids. He worked hard to get a house for his family and today he gives security to his family with a permanent job. He has become a partner of a car-washing business where he had started as an employee several years ago. That's what he did thanks to 'Emprendedorismo'."
Edilson (18) He has been working as an assistant at the Cabinet of the Minister of Education for ten months. Edilson is one of eleven youths from SOS Children's Village Brasilia who work for the Ministry. "I arrived at the village 13 years ago. Something that I remember with thankfulness is the incentive of my SOS mother Silvia. Thanks to her support, I studied English, Spanish, and computer science. That was a great 'injection' that allowed me to be more professional," he explains. Edilson has just decided to follow the career of laws at a local university.
Patricia (18) "SOS Children's Villages has helped thousands of children to build a new life, to have a home and a family. It's a wonderful project that gives children the opportunity to grow and to make a dignified life in society," says Patricia. She was welcomed to SOS Children's Village Poá in São Paulo at the age of ten. Today she is a Judo champion and is seeking to participate and struggle for medals at the Pan-American Games in rio de Janeiro in July 2007.
Many more youths have developed a positive attitude, good behavior, trust, and the qualifications required for taking on the responsibility of building their own future at 'Emprendedorismo'. The journey began in the SOS Children's Village, went on at the SOS Youth Facilities, where they learned from 'Emprendedorismo', and today, these are some of the results. Isn't that great?
Baby girl reaching hand - CV Bakoteh, The Gambia
Do you want to know how babies receive their names in the Gambia? Join SOS Children's Village Bakoteh in the naming ceremony of four babies...
A Naming Ceremony at SOS Children's Village Bakoteh
Sukai, Kumba, Aisha (three girls) and Kebba (a boy) received their names on 28 April 2006. As the biological families of these four abandoned babies staying in the transit home of SOS Children's Village Bakoteh were nowhere to be found, they recently officially joined the big "SOS family" and needed to be given names - in a ceremony full of traditions and rituals, as you will see.
Getting ready under the African hut
On that special day, four babies dressed in their nicest cloths were waiting, wrapped in blankets, as the tradition requires, to be given names. The ceremony gathered all SOS mothers, family helpers, village staff and friends of SOS Children's Village Bakoteh under the African hut, in the centre of the village.
While the four little ones gave their nicest smiles to the guests, some women were running around, gathering all the things needed for a naming ceremony and getting everything ready for the imam to proceed with the ceremony. Bowls of water containing a bit of coos (a special sort of millet), rice and pieces of kola nuts (a local nut), cotton buds, soaps and razor blades were set out on local mats placed in the middle of the hut. Two men sitting on the side were holding tight the four chickens to be slaughtered for the occasion.
Four women were chosen to present the babies to the imam for the rituals. Heads covered with scarves, the women holding the babies to be named sat on the local mats, each one in front of a bowl. The rituals were about to start.
The naming rituals
The first ritual consists of cutting a small lock of the baby's hair, usually close to the ear. As the imam came closer to the first baby, he dipped a bud of cotton in the bowl containing all the necessary ingredients and wet the area above one of the baby's ears. He then applied some soap and cut the lock of hair using the razor blade. According to custom, the hair and the cotton are used to prepare protective charms for the baby. The coos and rice (in the bowl of water) are symbols of fertility.
After repeating the same ritual for each baby, the imam proceeded by whispering prayers in each baby's right ear and the baby's own name in his or her left ear. The names were then whispered to the announcer who publicly announced them for all to hear. All four babies, Sukai, Kumba, Aisha and Kebba, were named after friends of SOS Children's Village Bakoteh.
As each baby received his or her name, a chicken was slaughtered. This tradition follows the Islam recommendation according to which blood shall be spilled for the baby.
Women celebrated the newly named by dancing and singing. The ceremony ended with the traditional distribution of kola nuts and "Munko", tiny balls made out of rice flour and sugar, to the guests. The four little ones were still too young to appreciate the food, but definitely not too young to enjoy being cuddled and kissed!