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The employee magazine
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Employees

Full of gratitude

Employee James Bandeira supports street kids and in doing so shows gratitude for the help he received as an orphan.

Learning by playing: As a young orphan, Bandeira often played soccer on the grounds of the Patronato. (left photo) At the paint shop: James Bandeira is proud to work at Volkswagen and to be able to provide a livelihood for his family. (right photo)

» I know that our donations will give other children the chance to learn job skills and find opportunities for their lives beyond violence and crime. «

James Bandeira had a difficult childhood. He grew up in the city of São José dos Pinhais in Curitiba, around 420 kilometers from São Paulo. When he was six years old, his parents died in a car accident. He and his brother grew up with their grandparents, who had also taken in two younger cousins of his. The grandparents had no means of supporting the children financially, but they saw the opportunities provided by the Patronato Santo Antônio and signed James up. The charitable institution is part of the One Hour for the Future program that uses donations from Volkswagen employees to help street children in many locations. James and his brother went to school at Patronato, and the institution also ­provided them with shower facilities and three meals a day. They only returned to their grandparents in the evenings. For more than ten years, the Patronato served as a home for the orphan James.

The turning point was 2008. That was the year when young James Bandeira applied for a job at Volkswagen. In his city, around 2,700 employees of Volkswagen do Brasil build the Fox and the Golf. His application was successful, and his dream became a reality. Shortly thereafter he got married, and is now the proud father of a seven-year-old daughter.

At the plant Bandeira monitors and prepares body shells before they are painted. He looks back with gratitude. “I learned a lot at Patronato Santo Antônio, and grew up there.

Today I am doing well. I have a profession, and am proud to own my own house and car.” Now, 14 years after leaving Patronato, Bandeira has returned, this time also to show his gratitude. He and his team have donated nearly €25,000 to the organization. Bandeira explains: “I know that our donations will give other children the chance to learn job skills and find opportunities for their lives beyond violence and crime.”

Donations for children:  James Bandeira (center) and his colleagues present the check to Patronato – a “second home” he looks back on with gratitude.