Danilo Henrique – an opportunity that changed my life.

Updated: Nov 4

This month Happy Child International focuses on the theme “opportunities”.


Instituto Solidare, delivers the Mentoring and Skills Training Project and is an organisation that partners with Happy Child International in Recife, North East Brazil. This project provides opportunities for young people from low-income families to enter the job market.


UNESCO defines young people as those between the ages of 15 to 24. Recently the OECD (organisation for economic cooperation and development) completed a survey in 38 countries. Brazil came second for the country with the highest number of young people in neither work nor training. 35.9% of its young people are not enrolled in educational institutions and do not perform any professional activity.


Projects like the Mentoring and Skills Training Project are vital and empower young people allowing them to play a central role in their own future. In our work we believe that empowering young people will help value the talents they have, encourage them to participate fully in the development of their communities and be active in helping to eradicate poverty and inequality.


This month we hope you are inspired by reading some of the testimonies of the young people on the Mentoring and Skills Training Project. They share where they have come from and what their aspirations for the future are.


Danilo Henrique’s personal testimony

My name is Danilo Henrique. I am 19 years old and I live in Allotment Grande-Recife, Sucupira.


I was raised by my grandmother and mother and I am the youngest in my family. When I was eleven years old, I experienced the most turbulent time of my life.


My mother and stepfather were in a car accident on BR-232. She was in the hospital for 4 months and I had to spend time with my dad. It was difficult, but it was also good for me and we managed to build a good relationship.


In my community I saw young people getting involved in the world of crime and drugs. I decided that I wanted to be different and follow an alternative path. I didn't want to accept that just because you lived on the peripheries that you were heading for a decadent life. My mother always said that crime would only get you to two places. Prison or a coffin.


After finishing my studies, I really felt that the pressures of life had tripled. I tried to get into college several times, but I just couldn't manage it financially. I felt very demotivated. At that time I got in touch with Instituto Solidare, which is located in a neighborhood close to where I live. Here I had help to sign up for the Mentoring and Skills Training Project that is coordinated by Paulo Rodrigues.


This opportunity was really a game changer for me. It helped me to broaden my horizons and expectations. Until that moment, I really didn't know what I wanted to do. The contact with so many professionals gave me focus, especially the training opportunity at Gerdau.


Today I feel balanced and more sure of the paths I want to take so that I can have a better life and change my reality.




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