“By the grace of God, this school is here in Canchungo.”

By Holly Collins, WAVS Board Advisor
April 28, 2016

Natividade Gomes

Profession: Canchungo Government Office of Identification
Studies at School: English Level 1
Age: 27
Interviewed at her place of work

All eight of Natividade Gomes’ siblings have struggled to find steady employment in Guinea-Bissau, a country where half the population lives in severe poverty and the economy is chronically unstable. And after their father passed away, her aging mother had no source of income.

That’s why Natividade is determined to do everything she can to find work.

“Since I was little, my mother took care of me and did everything for me,” said Natividade, 27. “Now my mother is old with no one to care for her. That’s why I am proud to work and to take care of my mother.”

Natividade recently found an internship with a government office that issues ID cards – an opportunity that may lead to a full-time job. She is also studying English at the WAVS School to prepare herself for future job opportunities.

“For me, the first thing I want is to do is read and write and speak English,” Natividade said. “When there are job fairs, the employers want to know if you have studied another language.”

She’s thankful that the WAVS School is in her town, which is more than 40 miles from the capital, Bissau, where most schools are located.

“By the grace of God, this school is here in Canchungo,” Natividade said. “If you don’t have money to study in Bissau, then you can study here. I thank God for that.”

Thanks to her hard work ethic, Natividade’s future looks promising.

“My mother is happy,” she said. “Sometimes we don’t see each other for long periods of time because I am working and studying and I come home tired and then do the same thing the next day. But my mother is happy and she says to me, ‘the job is good, work hard.’”