Ronaldo grew up in a small village called Tame. A few times each day, a truck rolls through the village on the dusty road that serves as the community’s only lifeline to the outside world. If you can catch a ride, a bumpy journey through the forest takes you to the town of Canchungo.
Ronaldo made that trip when he was 16 so he could attend high school in Canchungo. After enrolling, he heard about the WAVS School – the only school in Canchungo providing job-skills training – and he signed up for its computer basics class.
He enjoyed the class so much that he also enrolled in the school’s English class. Ronaldo has had to work hard to keep up his studies at both his high school and the WAVS School. His mother didn’t go to school and doesn’t understand why he’s enrolled in so many classes.
“It’s still difficult to convince my mother of the importance of school,” Ronaldo said. His family has also resisted Ronaldo’s decision to become a Christian. Some have even threatened him if he doesn’t renounce his faith. But with the support and encouragement from staff and students at the WAVS School, Ronaldo continues to hold firm in his decision to follow Christ.
Now a level 3 student in the English program, Ronaldo is quickly becoming a fluent English speaker with the help of his teachers. He said that the English classes at the WAVS School, which are two hours each day, are much more effective than his high school English classes, which were 45 minutes twice a week, and lacked the quality of teaching and materials available at the WAVS School.
In the future, Ronaldo wants to go to the capital city, Bissau, to study to become a lawyer.
“The best thing about the school is the skills I am learning,” he said. “I can use these skills throughout the rest of my life.”
WAVS (West African Vocational School) is a global partnership of The Well. If you would like more information on the organization, you can check them out at their website.