By World Vision Brazil; Edited by Katie Hackett
Laiane lives in Mundau and has been sponsored since she was nine.
She didn't used to communicate well, especially with her family. She didn't talk to her parents much and always preferred to play in the streets.
As she reached adolescence, Laiane's grandmother became especially concerned about the risks facing teenagers in their area" risks that could jeopardize Laiane's future.
She persistently encouraged her granddaughter to get more involved in the activities being planned by World Vision, to give her better influences and a sense of purpose.
"My behaviour changed, [because of] the simple fact that now I am taking part in the project activities," says Laiane, now 14 years old. "I have realized that for everything there is a way out, we only need a strong will."
Laiane joined a youth advocacy network called MJPOP (Youth Monitoring of Public Policies) and started participating in workshops, where she gained knowledge and experience, developed stronger social skills and spent time with other teens.
Today Laiane goes into community schools to raise awareness about children's rights and responsibilities. She encourages her peers to be informed and work for a fairer, more equal society. It's a job that pushed her far beyond her comfort zone, but for Laiane it's rewarding.
"I feel good when I am around other teenagers and I know what I'm talking about," she says. "It is wonderful to know my rights and to show them with others. My way of thinking has changed things."
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