Thursday, May 07, 2015

From the Streets to a Schoolroom: Milton's Story

Oruro, Bolivia — Milton is 17 years old and works shining shoes in the city of Oruro. His family is from a rural village and when he was eight years old, his father left his mother and his five siblings. Milton was forced to drop out of school and work in the fields to help support his family.

Milton wanted to go back to school so desperately that he often dreamed of studying. At 11 years old, Milton decided to leave home and move to the city. He planned to work to earn enough money to go back to school, however he quickly learned that life on the streets would be more challenging. Without a parent or documentation, he could not enroll in school. As he felt his dreams slipping away, Milton turned to fellow shoe shiners for support and began drinking and using drugs.

Then Milton met a church member who helped connect him with an after-school program specializing in child workers. He began receiving help from a teacher and psychologist. The program worked with a lawyer to get the necessary documentation, and soon he enrolled in night school. He showed great enthusiasm for learning, and was able to graduate within two years. Milton is now studying to become an electrical engineer. 

“I can see how God has been at work in my life and helped me meet people that supported me to reach my goals. I used to see kids with their books and was so angry that I couldn’t go to school with them. But now I have finished my studies and my dream is even bigger — to become an engineer and serve my society.”

Support Bright Hope's work in Bolivia or programs on Education and Orphans and Vulnerable Children.