The boy who grew up without a father and lost his older brother to violence gets a diploma

for every Report published 25/04/2022

“I took off the robe of the victim and put on the robe of conquering,” said Paulo Jardel, from Lajedo.

Paulo Jardel de Linharis da Silva will turn 23 next Thursday, 28, and this will be possible because he has found answers on his challenging path. Growing up without his father in the central Lajedo neighborhood, the boy lost his older brother at the age of 14 and came to believe that death would be the solution to his pain. He resisted him because of his love for his family and his encounter with God, and in this month he celebrated the dream that seemed always far away: he had obtained a degree in accounting from Unopar.

Paulo Jardel always bears the pain of losing his brother. Lucas was shot dead in 2014, at the age of 21, along with his girlfriend, inside a snack bar in downtown Lajedo. The loss of the father figure he had possessed until then was a blow he could not take. “I lost someone who could guide me to dream. I was lost,” Paolo recalls. “After death, I was shaken, had no perspective on life, had no reason to live or dreams. I started creating depression, very strong suicidal thoughts, and understanding that this was the solution.”

He states that the worst did not happen because he thought of his mother, who would have to live with another loss and take care of a boy and girl younger than Paolo. As a teenager, he worked for two years as a young apprentice at Banco do Brasil, and attests this was one of the most enriching experiences of his life.

He began by going to church and finding a reason to live again. “I talked to people who understood me, who helped take care of me, and I started to form perspectives again. Dreams.” He tells us that the greatest strength to go on is to find God, and after realizing that He has always been the Father. “When I started calling God, I began to understand that God is my father, and that changed everything. He is with me all the time, and it has made a huge difference to me.”

Later, Paulo Jardel got his driver’s license, attended university, and graduated this month. “It was transformative,” he says. “If I could tell who Jardel is today compared to the past, I guarantee he is very different. I could have given up everything, or raised myself as a victim, drug user or homeless person, excuse me for what happened to me. I took off the victim’s robe and put on mitten robe,” he concludes.

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With his graduation this month, Paulo Jardel shares his feelings on his social networks. Read:

For those of you who know me, you know that this is a very significant achievement not just for saying “I graduated” but for the general context for me to get to where I am now. In 2014, I lost my older brother, losing him I was really bad. He was an older brother and father figure as well, for those who don’t know I grew up without a father.
Over time, I lost the will to live, had no dreams, no perspective on life. I started having thoughts of dying, of killing myself, because I thought that was the solution.
In 2015, I met Jesus, it’s not just Jesus that people talk about their experiences, what it was like. I had the experience of meeting him. In that time, it has given me a fresh new look, a new perspective on life and an understanding that the person inside of me is so much bigger than my trauma and my past.
One person I couldn’t mention here is my friend Felipe Sesimbra, he has been an essential friend for my growth and for understanding the potential that I have. In conclusion, the graduation that was with everyone I did not participate in for greater reasons. Today we collide with those who did not participate in something and get our certificate. Finally formed, always thankful to God.
She became one of the first graduates of the family. This is not the reason to say I am the man, but to have an impact on the next generation in my generation and my future. The culture I live in, as I say from the neighborhood I live in, is completely different, which is why I say “the favela won”.


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