Saying goodbye to Vóvó Etelvina

This Saturday, the day woke up sadder. The world lost a generous dedicated soul. We always know this day arrives for all of us, but no matter what, it will always be a surprise, a pain, when it reaches our loved ones.

Vóvó (‘Granny’) Etelvina was one of these loved souls, never to be forgotten. Since the day I met her in 2008, I knew we were in the face of a force of nature. Teaching her children under a tree, giving them everything she had so they would not wonder the streets, giving each of them an opportunity to be special. Her dream of giving a roof to these children was one we chased holding hands, strengthened by the force of her energy, and the knowledge that Vóvó Etelvina would make it happen. That is how the Escolinha Flor da Infância grew, from a dream, from a belief, from working together with our hearts focused on the children.

Through the years, we shared more dreams, some hiccups. In fact, we shared life, ours, and that of every child that each day we brought to the Pre-School. We adapted to every storm, and even a pandemic that left us farther away, but did not deter us from pursuing our mission, together for the children.

Today, we mourn her departure. But we also want to celebrate her life and her joy. Her joy that we will forever remember, her joyful attitude towards every challenge. Her moments singing alongside the children or starting them on a dance. Her open heart reaching her hand to those who needed her the most. Her inspiration to do more.

Today, a shadow falls over us that promises sorrow to our hearts. We will all miss her. I, Mana Sara, with whom she dreamt history, Mama Anabela, with whom she shared a last recent embrace, Mana Patricia, who made it happen every day, Mama Elisa, who will remember her with respect and tenderness, Mano Abel, whom she helped grow, and all others in the A Little Gesture team, who every day worked for this dream to be possible.

We want to express our deepest condolences to the family, who today loses someone so special. To the teachers and workers of the Pre-School, who lose an incomparable leader. To the children or the Pre-School, who lose their granny.

We are grateful for the path we have done together and how we have been able to touch almost 1000 lives of children that passed the school in the last 12 years. We know her legacy remains in the lives of those that continued to a better life, in the lives of those that are in school today. and in the lives of the ones that will come. Always with the belief that her wish was for more education and more future for the children.

Thank you Vovo. Together for the children.

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