For young people growing up in the favelas of Sao Paolo the statistics are not encouraging. Two-thirds quit school before they graduate. The lack of a high school diploma can lead to a vicious cycle of unemployment, and criminality is high. It is an environment where young people fight for survival, but they also fight for jobs.
Jonathan, 17, and his two younger brothers not only faced the usual problems of poverty and competition for scarce resources. They had also been abandoned by their parents. Luckily, they found a loving home in the SOS Children’s Village in Sao Paolo.
Jonathan, who wants to study physics, was one of the first teenagers to participate in the local DHL 'Go Teach' programme, which is run in Sao Paolo in partnership with SOS Children's Villages.
While SOS Children's Villages provides the best possible education for the children and youth in its programmes, as well as a loving, supportive environment in which to grow up and fulfill their potential, a supportive network of caring adults who understand the working world – and can open doors to opportunities – are also needed to help vulnerable young people find their way.
Our corporate partners support us in this critical stage of supporting young people on their way to independence, by 'showing them the ropes' in professional settings, opening their eyes to the opportunities out there, and helping them to match their own special interests and strengths to career paths.
Orientation and support from DHL
Jonathan participated in training sessions on 13 Saturdays covering a multitude of topics that interested the youth participating: how to write a CV and a business letter; how to dress for a business environment; using office computer programs; and practicing giving presentations in front of an audience.In addition, Jonathan and his peers gained social confidence through the training sessions. Their mentors and trainers believed in them, which gave them courage to face fears and reach for their goals.
“Before I was very shy... Today I can talk with anyone without feeling shy. I would like to thank the DHL volunteers for that, as that was an important step for me,” said Jonathan.
For Jonathan, it meant a lot that his mentor, Cindy Haring, Head of DHL Brazil's Global Forwarding Division, joined his course every Saturday and took time to talk with him about his questions.
After the training finished, Jonathan applied for a job with DHL, and got it. Now he is working in the shipping department for DHL and saving for his college studies.
Apart from pursuing his dream of being a physicist, Jonathan also wants to volunteer as a career trainer for the next generation of youngsters who just need that initial spark, and the chance to see that they too can succeed in a professional environment.