Replaced my loneliness with addiction
From the age of 11, Santos was already finding ways to fend for himself and this later led to his alcohol addiction. His father went back to the country of his origin before Santos was born and his mother left him when he was just an infant.
"I was raised by my uncle who drank heavily so I lacked parental guidance. Sometimes there was food to eat, but on other days there wasn't. That pushed me to gambling and drinking alcohol from the age of 11. I played dice and fafi to make money to buy food and alcohol. I could not focus at school because of the situation at home.
My mind was always on where I was going to get my next plate of food from, or a bottle of beer. I no longer had the desire to continue with school and dropped out in grade seven. That's when my gambling and drinking worsened," he said.
At the age of 19, Santos found weekend jobs and left his uncle's home to live on his own.
"I drank so heavily because I had a void inside me. I always wondered how my life would have turned out if I had been raised by my parents," he said.
In 2012, Santos was invited to the Universal Church. He attended Friday services to be delivered from alcohol and gambling.
"I opened my heart to God and asked Him to help me overcome my addiction because there was no progress in my life. Most of all, I wanted to live a clean life. Within four months I was free from my addiction. God filled my heart with His spirit and I no longer needed alcohol to make me happy or fill the void I had within," he said.