Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Going to school in Guinea Bissau, West Africa

Today I received pictures of about 150 children and students from Djati, Guinea Bissau. I met most of them when I was there in February and I enjoyed seeing each of their pictures.

Alberto Na Ntunga
I've posted a couple of the students pics here today, (Alberto and Domingas).  Each of the children have both a Portuguese and an African name. In school they use their Portuguese name.

Do you recognize the photo backdrop? That's right, its the "old" school.  And, soon (around May 15) the rains will begin. The long bumpy road to Djati will turn into a river and the only access into the village will be by canoe. When the rains cease (probably sometime around Nov, Dec) this school will be in ruins.

Fortunately, they now have a nice new school!

However, education is not free in this very poor African country and even though we built the school, money is still needed to help the students purchase books and supplies.

I have some ideas in my head about how to help and I would also like to partner my kids in Djati (and other villages) with some students here in the US. Sort of a cultural exchange, if you will. Maritza (in GB) and I have discussed the possibility of some sort of an art or music exchange (I have witnessed what great singers and dancers they are) but I haven't nailed down the details yet.

My plan was brought to mind again when I watched  Finding Your Roots the other day.

Domingas Nfambotch

Some of the children featured on the show were DNA traced back to Guinea Bissau. Those children attended schools in Brooklyn and were participating in the Legacy Program affiliated with The Continuum Project.

I did some research on the project and sent them an email yesterday. I'd love to get some sort of partnership going. I see it as a win, win for all!

                 below is a video about the program

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