A House to Call Home: Angel Tells His Life Story

I arrived at Instituto Dara in June 2018. My youngest son, Enzo, four years old, had severe malnutrition and was treated at the Lagoa Hospital. There I was told about Dara’s work. In my first contacts with the team, they helped me outline the actions and goals of my Family Action Plan. This was very important to help me guide the next steps and look at my entire family, not just at Enzo’s disease.

Dara’s Citizenship sector helped me with documents and my rights. Enzo and my other two children, 11-year-old Raquel and seven-year-old David, began to receive educational counseling.

With the help of doctors and a nutritionist, Enzo gradually recovered. I learned how to prepare a healthier diet for him and the whole family. I created new habits and an eating routine at home.

But there was no point in taking care of his health and not taking care of my house. We were living in precarious conditions after a flood in early 2019. As in other houses in Santa Cruz, the neighborhood where I live in the west zone of Rio de Janeiro, I lost most of my furniture and things. Dara’s Housing sector supported me in renovating my house, both with the floor plan and funding it.  I was responsible for hiring the construction worker and budgeting the necessary material in stores near my home.

Today I see my house as a home, a safe haven for my family. When the renovation was over, I enrolled in the cooking course in Dara’s Revenue Generation division. I started dreaming again. I want to open a confectionery that already has a name: ‘Angel Doces’ (Angel Sweets).

And I was still able to make a personal dream come true: in October, I represented Instituto Dara at Caldeirão do Huck, a TV show aired at Rede Globo, and I was able to receive donations for other families served.