Young boy sits on his father's lap looking at the camera

Early life

Miguel is four years old and lives in Sao Paulo with his father who works as a gardener. In July 2022, the Sisters of Mary were told about Miguel and his father’s desperate situation and rushed to visit them to see how they could help. One month before, Miguel’s mother died of lupus. His father was left alone with no support and no one to care for Miguel to allow him to work to support them both. Unemployed and suffering from grief he was desperate to provide better care for his young son.

Miguel’s father was himself an orphan and lost his own family when he was six years old to a gas explosion in their home. He only survived because at the time he was outside of the house, working to shine shoes to get income for his family. He lived alone on the streets, without any formal education, until he met his wife and they had Miguel. Without any support, Miguel’s father was in a desperate situation, unable to work and pay rent for their house or buy food.

When he heard that the Sisters of Mary could offer Miguel a place in their Sao Paulo Day Care centre, he cried tears of joy. With Miguel safe at day care, getting an early education and enjoying two nutritious meals a day, his father can now work and support them, giving them a proper home in a desperate and difficult time.