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Johemir Biography

Our project is on a 16 year old named Johemir. His family was poor but he now has decided to try to help other people. All his hardships started when he was 9 when his father left him. It was terrible growing up with no father while also being poor. What was even worse was when he found out about a year later that his father was killed during a robbery! after Johemir had turned ten his mother left for a year. With his mother gone and no one to take care of him Johemir learned to do more things on his own. Once his mother returned Johemir could cook his own meals as well as wash his own clothes. Also when his mother came back "she told him that they were going to live on a banana plantation" in Apartado. Johemir has really had a hard life.

Where Johemir Lives

Johemir now lives in a place called Apartado. Apartado is a place with multiple barrios. A barrios is where someone may choose to live in when their home is destroyed or taken like the one Johemir lives in now. Also, the economy in Apartado is based around bananas and plantain plantations. Normally the temperature would be around 30 degrees Celsius. Johemir did not always live in Apartado though. He was born and grew up in Monteria for many years. Monteria isn't like Apartado though. In Monteria it was very noisy and there were many thieves who lived there. The thieves would break into homes and kill the people inside or they make burn the house, take the house, or destroy the plantation itself. This was one of the reasons that Johemir was worried when his mother left him home alone and one of the reasons that his mother decided to come back and take Johemir away from Monteria. Johemir is really lucky to live in Apartado instead of Monteria.

Johemir's Environment

Apartado may be better than Monteria it still isn't perfect. Everyday people lose family members all because of the government. In one of the barrios Johemir lived in, there was a girl who got her father killed by the government. A helicopter had come down after her father told her mother and her to run and shot him. Living in Apartado can be sad but not just because of the disappearances but also because of the lost homes. Because of all the lost homes people are forced to live in barrios which are not the best places to live in. They were very poor and damaged which makes me feel really bad for Johemir. Also Johemir did go to school in both Apartado and Monteria. When he talked about each school he talked as if he wasn't doing so well. In Monteria he said that he would try to work harder and get better grades as well as in Apartado but it also seemed that he only said that because he thought he was almost alone. Knowing Johemir I think that really he only tries his hardest when he is lonely. It must be hard living in Apartado and Monteria!

Johemir Fighting for a Change!

Many things have happened that make Johemir want to change the lives of people around him. Because he lives in a barrio he hears from other people living in barrios about how there house was taken or they're missing a family member. Though this was after he started to try to make a change it just gave him more strength to try to change the lives of many people living in Apartado. The things around him weren't the only things that made Johemir want to fight for change. Johemir has lost much in his life as well. His father left him and his mother a year before he was killed, Johemir had to move from his old town and get used to the new living style, and most of all he could have almost lost hope if not for Graca Machel. Graca had came to Apartado in 1996 with a dream to change the lives of everyone living there. When she arrived and saw all the despair and death she decided to create the "Return to Happiness" program which mostly traveled to schools to try to help the kids of Apartado have more hope for their futures instead of suffering like many families. Johemir joined the program and volunteered to go to schools and speak. One thing he would talk about to the kids was "about their rights and why they should all vote in the Children's Mandate." From volunteering in the program Johemir has changed the lives and many kids living in Apartado!

This is a picture of Graca Machel. When Johemir was twelve, she showed up in his town and inspired UNICEF to create the Return to Happiness Program in Apartado

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Johemir Trying for Change

There is much that Johemir has tried to do to change the lives of people around him. One thing he did was join the Return to Happiness program. The Return to happiness did many things to help out the people in Apartado like talking to kids in schools. One thing they would talk about would be "about their rights and why they should all vote in the Children's Mandate." Also Johemir would do little things for the people around him like play with little kids. Even just playing a child can change their life in a giant way or make them feel much better after having lost so much. Johemir is always trying to fight for change in Apartado.

Johemir Hopes for the Future

Johemir has many hopes for the future. One of those hopes is that fro the work he has done there will be less sad people living in Apartado. To make sure of this he went to talk to the kids about their futures and make sure that they live a better life than other people who have lost a lot. There is nothing Johemir would not do to change the lives of people around him. Another thing that Johemir hopes for in the future is for there to be less life threatening situations where he lives. In Monteria there were man thieves that made Johemir fear being alone in his home. He was very lucky to still be alive after his mother came back from her year trip. Also there is much violence now which is causing "thousands of families to flee from their homes" and live in a barrio. Each day more and more families are forced from their homes hoping to stay safe. Johemir hopes for a lot in the future. So do we.

This is a video of the regular day lives of people living in Apartado