LGW’s preparatory course helps Brazilians obtain a high school diploma.
Finishing school and going to college after many years away from a classroom, whether in Brazil or abroad, seemed an impossible dream for a group of 27 Brazilians in their 50s living in the United States. But even against all odds, they were able to achieve this goal and have just received their high school diploma, which has opened up a whole new world of opportunities to them.
Thanks to the Legion of Good Will (LGW), which provided free-of-charge preparatory classes, 95 percent of the candidates passed the ENCCEJA (Brazilian Exam for Certification of Competences of Youngsters and Adults) in 2016. The exam, which is coordinated by INEP (National Institute for Educational Studies and Research “Anísio Teixeira”), is divided into four tests, one for each major area of knowledge. These tests are applied and validated by the Consulate General of Brazil in New York.
Joel Gonçalves, one of the students, visibly moved, said: “Without the LGW’s help, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. They were extremely important. The teachers not only shared their knowledge, but also gave us lots of tips for the exam. I waited 53 years to get this diploma. I’m very happy about it. . . . You ar wonderful people. It’s no doubt that the world is more beautiful with you in it.”
Months before the exam, the students attended classes in the LGW’s office in New York given by volunteer teachers and exchange students. Online classes were also provided by teachers from the José de Paiva Netto Educational Institute, of São Paulo, Brazil.
“Based on our educational line, comprised of the Ecumenical Citizen Pedagogy and the Pedagogy of Affection, we use the LGW’s methodology called MAPREI (Learning Method through Rational-Emotional-Intuitive Research),” said Sâmara Malaman, program coordinator of the LGW of the USA.
“When I started coming to classes I noticed that the educators were very qualified. It had already been over 30 years since I’d been to school, and I couldn’t remember anything. . . . The LGW’s teachers always reassured us. That’s why I invite everybody to take part in these preparatory classes,” says Geneci Dorneles, one of the students who were approved.
The participation of the Brazilian community was great, and the Organization was able to mobilize students from several parts of the United States, as well as from Europe and Japan, who took the online course sent to them by email.
The ceremony at which the diplomas are awarded is held every year in the headquarters of the Brazilian Consulate. In 2017, Ambassador Ana Lucy Petersen presented each student with the diploma and thanked the LGW, which she called a successful partner in this program.
“Without the support of the LGW, we wouldn’t have been able to prepare the students for the exam. The Organization sponsored college students who gave the classes, helped them [the students] on how to answer questions, and gave them mock tests. All this allowed people to get to know each other and feel more confident for facing up to this great challenge. At the end of the classes, they were being encouraged by their friends,” said the ambassador.