Help, our school is drowning!
Childcare and education
Help, our school is drowning! : Saving a school from flooding in Angola
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Project partners

20 backers
€2,486
€6,137
on an objective of
€6,137
20 backers
Finished time remaining
The steps
1780 € / 1780 €
20 m3 of concrete and 100 bags of cement
569 € / 569 €
Loads of oat waste, sand and gravel
697 € / 697 €
2500 bricks
1869 € / 1869 €
2.5 tonnes of stakes, 400 clamping systems, 4 PVC pipes
1222 € / 1222 €
Labour

A first Daughters of Charity project in Angola! 

Lobito is a port city in Angola, on the Atlantic coast of south-west Africa, in the diocese of Benguela. Its strategic position has played an important role in Angola's development since the late 15th century, when Portuguese explorers established a trading post there. The region's fertile soil and favourable climate have facilitated agriculture, particularly the cultivation of coffee and cotton.
 
From a small population at the beginning of the 20th century, Lobito has become a city of around 480,000 inhabitants, the 3rd largest in the country. Angola's recent history is marked by the struggle for independence in 1975, the civil war and, following peace in 2002, a period of development and growth.

The Daughters of Charity in Angola since 1995

Three American Daughters of Charity first arrived as volunteers for the NGO Catholic Relief Services in Balombo in the diocese of Benguela. The town was in a state of great poverty because of the civil war. 
In 1998, after their departure, other Daughters of Charity were sent on mission and created two communities, one of which is in Lobito, where the sisters mainly serve in the Cassai district. This district has developed without any urban planning, without water, sewage or water treatment systems; few houses have latrines or access to electricity. The accumulation of waste and rubbish poses a high health risk.

The Immaculate Heart of Mary School, a window on the future for the children of the Cassai district

The Community of the Daughters of Charity is heavily involved in the Cassai district, particularly in education.                                         
                                          Group of teachers and school cleaning and maintenance staff


"The population of Cassai lives in a situation of serious social exclusion, with great difficulty in accessing education, health, social services and public utilities.
School, although compulsory, is not seen by families as an essential element in the integral development of their children". Sr Ana Paula

The Immaculée Cœur de Marie school group caters for 1,378 nursery, primary and secondary pupils in shifts in the mornings and afternoons. Most of them live in the neighbourhood, and if they were unable to attend classes, they would be excluded from the education system.

"The education they receive is crucial to giving them the opportunity for a better future". Sr Ana Paula

Repeated flooding threatens school group's existence

Lobito is located on the Atlantic coast. During the rainy season, flooding is frequent and washes away buildings. The Cassai neighbourhood has been particularly hard hit. The construction of the school wall has been affected and several classrooms as well as the outside parts of the school (patio, corridors) are heavily flooded.

"Classes cannot take place. This has a huge impact on the progress of the pupils, especially as in this area of Cassai, the pupils also do most of their homework at school". Sr Ana Paula

The project: to rebuild the school wall and reinforce certain buildings to prevent the school from collapsing and local children from losing their schooling.

"The residents of Cassai have come to help us get the water out of the classrooms, even though they are in the same situation because the whole neighbourhood is flooded!" Sr Ana Paula

The objectives of the project are to :

- assessing the condition of materials in order to reuse what can be reused and replace what is damaged

- reinforce the school walls and buildings as quickly as possible

- channel rainwater properly

- recruit volunteers from the educational community to support the learning of pupils in the affected classes, to ensure that their academic results do not drop.

The beneficiaries of this reconstruction project are the school's 1,378 pupils and 76 members of staff, including 58 teachers.

With them, thanks to you... for the first time in Angola!

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Véronique Cappoen.

« Un petit parfum reste toujours dans les mains de ceux qui offrent des fleurs »
Tout d'abord, nous tenons à vous adresser nos salutations les plus chaleureuses.
Au nom de tous les élèves, enseignants, travailleurs, parents et accompagnateurs, de la direction de ce complexe scolaire et de moi-même, nous voudrions tout d'abord remercier Dieu, propriétaire de la moisson, pour chacun d'entre vous, pour vos vies, vos familles, votre générosité, pour avoir pensé à nous aider et avoir accepté de le faire, pour avoir contribué à une si noble cause, celle de réparer notre école afin que les enfants qui y étudient puissent continuer à recevoir des cours normalement sans risque d'effondrement ou d'interruption des cours à cause des inondations constantes causées par les pluies et les changements climatiques qui dévastent le monde en général et Lobito en particulier.
Comment pouvons-nous remercier le Seigneur pour un si grand don ?
Nous ne trouvons pas les mots pour exprimer tout ce que nous ressentons en ce moment, mais comme nous le disons dans notre culture angolaise :
« Un petit parfum reste toujours dans les mains de ceux qui offrent des fleurs »
ou « Si vous voulez déplacer des montagnes demain, vous devez commencer à déplacer des pierres aujourd'hui. »
Vous êtes les pierres qui nous aideront à déplacer la montagne pour que nos enfants aient une qualité de vie différente de celle de leurs parents.
Que le Seigneur tout-puissant vous comble de sa grâce, vous et vos familles, et que les moyens que vous avez pris pour nous aider se multiplient au centuple. Que vous ne cessiez jamais de faire le bien. Merci beaucoup.

Sr Ana Paula M. Armando, directrice du complexe scolaire

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Véronique Cappoen.
Sister Ana Paula Matias Armando

I am Sister Ana Paula Matías Armando, Daughter of Charity of St Vincent de Paul. I come from Angola and I have 20 years of vocation. I've been headmistress of the Immaculate Heart of Mary School for 6 years. I was deputy administrative director from 2006 to 2010, and pedagogical director from 2010 to 2017. I also taught 3rd, 4th and 6th year primary classes.
We do social, pastoral and advocacy work so that pupils can get out of their situation. In pastoral work, I accompany the young people of the school and the parish, and I am an advisor to the JMV (Jeunesse Mariale Vincentienne) groups. I make home visits. Finally, I'm responsible for the pre-postulants and the novitiate of the Daughters of Charity in Angola, and I'm spiritual assistant at the Immaculate Heart of Mary school.

Lobito
Angola