Updated: Aug 21
Gabriel Pereira da Silva’ is 19 years old and stopped studying in the first year of secondary school. He said that after the birth of his twins he could not study and work at the same time, prioritizing work to look after the children. However, he said he is planning to return to his studies next year and intends to do EJA which is a government programme for the education of young people and adults. Through EJA he will be able to achieve his secondary school certificate.
Gabriel is married to Milena Barbosa Diniz, who is being supported by the Gathering Project. The Project’s objective is to support the prevention of early adolescent pregnancy and to support pregnant girls living in Recife’s periferies. Milena gave birth to twins, Aruna Gabriela and Richard Gabriel, who are 5 months old now. Gabriel said the arrival of the twins was the greatest joy of his life.
Gabriel said that he became a Dad for the first time at 17 years old and his partner Milena was 19 years old. When they discovered she was pregnant they were delighted and chose the name Marlon for their child as he was a boy. At eight months old the baby died and it was on the same day that they were going to have a baby shower. He will always remember that and it was one of the sadest days of his life.
Gabriel isn’t working at the moment and has to do odd jobs at CEASA, a big foodstore wharehouse. He gets there at 10.00 in the evening and drives a fork lift truck until 7.00 am in the morning. He earns R$70.00 to 80.00 a shift (approx £13.00 a shift ).
Gabriel and his family live in a house loaned to him by his father-in-law as his little shack was not fit for purpose. He built the outside part with bricks but the rest was made of wood and was just not suitable at all for the babies to live in until improvements had been made.
Gabriel said that he had always dreamed of having children and he has no regrets about having his so young, and that he will never abandon his children although many young people do. “Its not a shameful thing to be a young Dad. What is shameful is to abandon your children in front of everyone”. He says that his greatest dream is to work to be able to realise his dreams.
I asked Gabriel what his dreams were for his own children “That they are an example, that they make good choices and become good people. That they get good jobs and help people. I want to be a good example to my children so that they can mirror my example”
What’s the Project’s vision for him as a Father?
The Project hopes that Gabriel will realise his dream, which is to find work to provide for his family. It also hopes he will participate in one of Instituto Solidare’s projects to help advance his professional life and to provide a nice home and education for his family.
This interview took place in the city of Recife, in Pernambuco Brasil by Amanda Verusk on the 27th June 2023