Deivid used the same tennis shoes for three years. Already second hand when he got them, too big for his feet, acquired at a bazaar organized by the Parish of St. Anthony of Lisbon, they are the only ones the boy has.
Since last Saturday afternoon, after the daily newspaper O Liberal had Deivid’s story on its front page showing a photograph of Deivid with his torn shoes, dozens of inhabitants of Belém went personally to the boy’s house in the neighbourhood of Cremação presenting him the Christmas gift he had asked Papa Noel for: tennis shoes. Also throughout Sunday Deivid Jose received presents of shoes, toys and food.
“The first Christmas presents were four pairs of new shoes and toys,” says the proud father, Luiz Roberto Correa da Silva, 37 years old, a professional handyman, “On Sunday, many more people came to our house to bring shoes and clothes. He has already received 40 pairs of shoes.”
Now, with his dearest wish materialized, his next wish moves a little upwards. “A real motorcycle,” says the boy, under the curious eyes of his little sister Deise of 4 years, who’s scarcely able to grasp all the toys her brother received.
While the O Liberal reporters were visiting Deivid’s (municipal) kindergarten Caripunas the Director of the school received two calls leaving him in tears. The calls came from the municipal Department of Education (Semec), which in fact is responsible for this kindergarten for impoverished children, condemning the action of the supervisor to tell the story of Deivid to the press. To accentuate their incompetence, they prohibited the school management to speak any further with the press and ordered the press to leave the school.
“We just wanted to help the child. Those who actually have a duty to help the child condemn us now”, lamented one of the crying teachers.
Anyway, Deivid steps into the New Year with new shoes at his feet.