Students at a Brazilian high school surprised their teacher with a gift after they learned he had not been paid in two and a half months and was living and sleeping at the school.
Bruno Rafael Paiva was stunned when the students pooled their money together to give him a $400 cash gift.
According to Paiva, he has been substituting for a teacher on maternity leave and due to a bureaucratic delay, his name had not been added to the school’s payroll, leaving him without a salary for two and a half months.
For Paiva, the students’ gift came at a time he was feeling despondent.
“This month when I saw that I was not going to receive [my salary] after a month and a half of work, I saw everything going black, I sank into depression. [I was] worried and lost [not] knowing how to pay the bills and help my family that is changing and with many of the barriers of life,” he wrote on Facebook.
When his students learned of his troubles, they secretly began to raise the money by selling chocolates and holding a raffle at the school.
The students gave him the surprise gift in class. In a video recorded by one of the students, Paiva goes to his desk and notices a small box on the table. When he opens it he stands still for several seconds in silence before speaking.
“This cannot be. How can you do this?” Paiva says as he opened his gift. When the students see him begin to cry they all get up and give him a group hug.
Afterwards, Paiva wrote, “I have many rooms that I have loved in my heart to be a teacher, but no room has ever shown such love, help and affection for my teacher’s work as the 1st # Buildings did today. They are students like me, who still make me believe in the education of the country, believe in the love of others, in the compassion of putting oneself in the place of others, and believe mainly in the respect and love of the student towards the Professor of his school.”
He added that the students were the future he believes in.
Below is the video of Paiva receiving the surprise gift.