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A role model for SOS youths in Brazil

Sergio teaching a class
Sergio teaching a class

Since the age of eight, Sergio was raised by his SOS Mother at SOS Children’s Village in Rio Bonito, a suburb south of São Paulo. Now 25, he is an IT tutor and trains 120 young people a year in the same SOS Village where he found a new home.

When Sergio arrived at SOS-Rio Bonito 17 years ago, he had previously lived with a foster family, as well as experiencing a range of institutional care.

“At first the design of the SOS family seemed strange to me because I had spent seven years of my life without a family structure. Suddenly I was faced with a mother and eight brothers,” he says.

However, Sergio soon settled into his family, and is now very close to his SOS mother Liliana Leocádia and his brothers. He believes that this family-based home gave him the experiences “that prepared me for life,” he says.

As a child, Sergio studied hard and got good grades at the local SOS school, one of the best in the region. With support from SOS staff, at 16 Sergio attended an IT hardware training programme. Staff gave him the opportunity to gain some work experience at the SOS Children National Office in Brazil. This experience helped to deepen his IT knowledge and paved his way into the labour market.

Now, Sergio teaches IT to young people from SOS Children’s Village Rio Bonito as part of a programme called ‘Connecting Futures.’ Sergio is a role model for the young people on the course, seeking to make a successful transition from SOS care to independence.

“I always wanted to do something for SOS,” says Sergio. “As an instructor, I encourage the students to build their own success stories with professionalism and determination.”

SOS Children’s Village Rio Bonito is one of 16 SOS Children’s Villages in Brazil. SOS also runs Youth Homes to help young people like Sergio gain the life and job skills they need to move into adulthood. With the guidance of SOS staff, young people learn to shoulder responsibility and make their own decisions. Learn more about our work with children and young people in Brazil.