It is only been a year since Sandra Maria de Andrade woke up to the wondrous world of reading.
One afternoon after work, the garbage picker from north-eastern Brazil was lying exhausted in a hammock when her youngest son, Damiao Sandriano, invited her to take a look at a book.
“Mum, would you like to read with me?” he asked. “It’s a story, and it has pictures.”
At the time, the 42-year old was unable to write her own name.
The closest to any formal education she had ever had was a class for young adults in which she was taught the letters of the alphabet.
But she gave up, frustrated at not being able to get past the letter “e”. She recalls the experience as “an agony”.
It was not until her son stepped in that she would try again.
After a few informal lessons by Damiao at their home on a dirt road in Jardim …
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