Today we are proud - proud and excited for Claudinho. We found out this month that he has graduated from high school. This is quite a feat given the path he took to arrive here.
Claudinho has lived in the Sombra Road House since 2007 but has been a part of our lives for much longer. Jeremy first met Claudinho at the orphanage, REAME, in 2004, when Claudinho was 13. At the time, he was in the third grade. The reason he was so far behind was because education was not a priority in his home. His mother died in childbirth when he was still very young. The responsibility of both providing for and raising Claudinho and his four brothers and sisters fell squarely on the shoulders of his father. His father, a poor farmer who took care of someone else's land, relied on his two sons' help in order to complete his day's work. When food on the table is not a given, education is perceived as a luxury. When he was removed from his father's home and placed at REAME on the day of his 10th birthday, he was well behind his peers. He had to start all over at the beginning. So, at 10 years old, he was placed in a kindergarten class with kids 4 or 5 years younger than him. He describes the situation with these simple words: "it was embarassing."
This milestone marks not only evidence of his perseverance but also opens up many doors of opportunity. We are excited to see where his next steps take him and we are thrilled to be able to continue to help counsel him on this journey. He will continue to live in the Sombra Road House. He is a part of our family. Please continue to pray for him as he makes decisions about his next steps.