David is a Street Child United Young Leader, who represented Brazil at the Street Child Games Rio 2016 and Street Child World Cup Moscow 2018.
After he returned to Fortaleza following the Street Child Games Rio 2016 he was involved in an accident in which he lost his leg. David has written this blog to mark International Day of People with Disabilities:
“Right after the Street Child Games Rio 2016, I had an accident while surfing the train and had my left leg amputated. This tragic accident has greatly affected my life, my dreams and my expectations for sport. I dreamed of becoming a professional athlete, but unfortunately I had my dreams postponed. Right after the accident, despite the sadness of it, at first I was happy to be alive and to have survived that accident that could have taken my life.
“As the days went by, I felt the limitations that the lack of a limb placed on me. My feelings were of deep sadness, anguish, and shame. Although I tried not to show my suffering to people, that situation made me worse each day. However, in the midst of my suffering I was able to find the support I needed to get rid of those bad feelings that put me down. Thanks to the support of my family, the people of O Pequeno Nazareno and the Street Child United family who have supported me emotionally and financially, I could regain my self-esteem and my right to dream again.
“Therefore, I would not like to report here that my main achievements have been in the field of work, sport or education. My main achievement is daily: to accept what happened and try not to blame myself or the train driver for the accident – to continue believing my dreams.”
Street Child United are extremely proud of everything David has achieved since his accident. We will continue to work with David and O Pequeno Nazareno to campaign for the rights and protection of street-connected young people in Fortaleza and across Brazil.
Team Brazil Boys was organised by O Pequeno Nazareno, who have worked with street children and their families in Fortaleza, north-eastern Brazil, for almost 20 years. OPN provides street children with a secure home in a rural location where they receive schooling and counselling, and can take part in sports and other activities. A key part of their approach is working with the children’s families; the charity helps them overcome their problems whilst reintegrating the child back into a family setup.