The Welder

He grew up in one of the world’s poorest countries.
As a child, he nearly died from malaria.
But this dad found a way to work for a brighter future.

Sponsor a student like Cirilo

Every $10 per month helps train one student each year

Sponsor a Student in West Africa by joining One Student

Welcome to One Student. When you sponsor a student, you join a community of people who believe in a world where everyone has the opportunity to work for a brighter future, no matter who they are or where they live. As a One Student member, your monthly gift will help young people in West Africa learn life-changing job skills — one student at a time.

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The odds were against Cirilo. He found a way to overcome them.

Cirilo was born in Guinea-Bissau, a country where most people earn less than $2 a day. As a child, he suffered from severe malaria and nearly died.

Despite these challenges, Cirilo managed to finish high school (which is no small accomplishment in a country where the average person only completes 6 years of school).

After high school, Cirilo knew he wanted something more for his family than the extreme poverty he was born into. But he was unemployed and had no job skills. He had no idea what to do next.

That’s when he heard about the WAVS vocational school’s nine-month welding course. He immediately enrolled. By 2016, Cirilo had graduated from the course and opened his own welding workshop.

Today, Cirilo earns a steady income. A few years ago, he decided to start a family of his own. He knew that he was able to provide for one now.

Meanwhile, Cirilo also helps others achieve the same success he’s found in life. At his workshop, he has several apprentices. He’s paid for two of them to attend the same WAVS welding course that changed his life.

Like Cirilo, the apprentices have opened their own shops after graduating. One was even so successful that he expanded his business to the capital city, Bissau.

Breaking the cycle of poverty has a ripple effect that extends far beyond just one person.

Despite being the youngest of four siblings, Cirilo pays the school fees for his brothers to attend university. Cirilo’s son, meanwhile, will grow up in a family has the means to provide him a good education.

Thousands of people in Guinea-Bissau are just like Cirilo — young men and women born into a life of poverty. By sponsoring a WAVS student, you can help give them the opportunity to work for a brighter future!