Sandro was born in the small town of Potosí in the mountains of Bolivia. He moved to Cochabamba with his mother and two brothers when he was a child, and from an early age began shining shoes to support his family, making eight to nine dollars a day.
Even with an economic turnaround in recent years, many Bolivian families like Sandro's find themselves with limited options for their children. With a poverty rate of almost 40% and a legal working age of just ten years old, an estimated one out of every three children works to support their families. This makes it difficult or impossible for children like Sandro to attend school and get the education required for higher-paying jobs that could lift their families out of poverty. To help break this cycle, A Chance In Life supports the Brother Manolo Center in providing a safe place for working children like Sandro to play and study. The Center's staff and volunteers encourage the children to stay in school and provide them with tutoring to ensure their academic progress.
Sandro visited the Center for the first time in 2009, after his cousin told him it was a place where working children could receive support in different areas. Sandro says that what he liked first was the sports activities the Center offered. Later on, he made friends and came to value the atmosphere of community.
Now, a decade later, Sandro is in charge of tutoring young working children and serving refreshments every morning. Sandro always has some advice to offer the children who attend the Center. He is always happy share his experience and how the support he received in the Center changed his life. He is regarded as an older brother for the care and patience he shows the younger children.
In the afternoons, Sandro studies automotive electronics. He is in his first year and has two years left to complete his technical training. Sandro is grateful to the Center because he was welcomed when he was a working child on the streets, and for the scholarship he received from the Center so he can continue his education. We are grateful to Sandro for his dedication to giving back to other children, and for all that he has and will accomplish with the chance in life that was given to him!
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