Monday, 25 July 2011

A personalized approach ... the children of Calheta ... the "godparents" ...

The fact that I start packing two months in advance whenever I fly to Cape Verde does seem to surprise and even puzzle many of those who don't know me. The weight limit does account for part of that planning ahead, though it is not the only reason.  Having  54 children "to care for" in terms of school fees and school material, as well as birthday and Christmas presents may seem an easy task, but if one takes into account the personality characteristics of each of these children and has the clothes and books chosen accordingly, without making too many differences when it comes to what is spent with each of these children ... it is not that easy. 

The advantages are (or at least I believe they are) the children feel they are cared for as individuals with their own distinct personality traits and not simply like children who are given clothes or school material others (namely western associations) don't need any more and thus shift to Africa, even if some of those are quite convenient at times.

Erica in December 2010 (left) and in June 2011 (right)

Lola in September 2010 (left) and in March 2011 (right)

Eduardo in February 2010 (left) and in March 2011 (right)

Artemisa in October 2010 (left) and in March 2011 (right)

Ivanilde Elena in December 2010 (left) and in June 2011

I will soon be sending a postal package with presents for four children (Diana, Diva, Ivanilde Elena and Elcy), whose birthdays are in August and September, whilst the ones whose birthdays are in October will be personally taken by me in three months time.

Diva's birthday presents (left) and Ivanilde Elena's  (right). 

Elcy's birthday present (left) and Diana's (right)

I have last Friday made a bank transference to cover the 2012 school fees, school books and any other material for 29 children (23 of them have "godparents"), which is to be added to the money for 19 children previously paid for last March (all of whom have "godparents"). 

The children we are currently helping are (Cynthia Tavares, Claudina Veiga, Erica Pereira (Lola), Daniela Lopes, Carla Barbosa, Cláudia Tavares (Rosana), Nélida Fernandes, Delmízia Semedo, Melissa Carvalho (Patrícia), Bernardethe landim (Lou), Verónica Landim, Neuza Silva, Simone Miranda, Erica Gomes, Artemisa Lopes, Leinira Landim, Josefina Ehison, Maria de Jesus Lopes, Tarine Gomes, Joceline Tavares, Marline Sanches (Diva), Eunice Dias, Nolita Furtado, Eunice de Jesus Veiga, Juliza Correia, Jussara Paz, Liliane Rosy Silva, Ineida Fernandes, Patrícia de Fátima Varela (Sónia), Maria Filomena Santos (Mana), Elcy Dias, Ineida Patrícia Correia, Marlene Miranda (Nídia), Carline Borges (Rívia), Ivanilde Elena Matheus, Lavínia Fonseca, Justina Correia, Filomena Miranda, Jessica, Ivanilde, Eveline Santos, Ana Galina de Barros, Ana Borges, Joaquim Semedo (Kevin), Eduardo Vieira, Veinilson, Elias Landim, Ismael, plus 6 younger children - Nessinha, Odete, Aniza, Leidina, Lin and Fábio Júnior (Marquinho).

The "godparents", apart from myself,  are: Gabriela, Maria João, Carla Oliveira, Carla Carreira, Isabel, Sandra Sousa, Fátima, Paula, Surama and Sérgio (since 2009), Lurdes Pinto, Carla Brígida, Cristina Marques, Rosário Vidal, Cecília, Carlos Bicho, Lurdes Baptista, Maria Felicidade,  Marie Hélène and  Noëlle (2010), Charlotte, Francisco Lisboa, Carlos Saboga, Marco and Micá Tavares, Isabel Mègre, Cristina, Mafalda, Júlia, Dora,  Sílvia, Catarina and Natividade (2011).

My thankfulness goes out to the following people as well.

Supporters since 2009: Christian, Mia Farr, Ana Correia, Luisa Tavares.
Contributors: Mr. Breitenstein, Casanova.
Second-hand material and toys handed in 2010/2011 by: Cristina Igreja and Elsa (respectively).
Second-hand clothes handed over Christmas 2010/11 : Anabela, Maria João, Isabel, Sílvia, Carla Carreira, Gabriela, Carla Brigida and Paula.
Some games and material bought for the  2011 project: Marie Hélène.
Some second-hand books: Ana Correia, Helena and Elsa.

Calheta de São Miguel

This may sound like a little drop in the ocean ..., which it is but at least we (the people involved in the project) have every reason to feel proud with the small progress the children we are helping have made so far ... and ultimately the different perspective of the community regarding education and self-esteem.

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