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Day 21: Always some perfume in the hands of the one offering roses …

Sister Lídia, our Local Partner in Santa Luisa de Marilac School, saw her school being destroyed by the January floods. With her tireless joy she set about the task of rebuilding this safe haven for 660 disadvantaged children in Manjangue, Chokwé. Santa Luisa de Marilac School is a very poor school where 117 of the students are sponsored on an individual basis by our sister charity UPG Portugal. And has always a kind word for the ALG friends…

“It is with great joy we are sending our testimonial on our partnership with ALG UK and UPG Portugal and all their support provided. We can say with all certainty that everything is derived from ALG’s support and solidarity.

  • Children are healthy, improved their nutrition and even the children with HIV/AIDS, are strong and manage to keep up.
  • The Sister Nurse, who checks if the antiretroviral medication is been taken regularly, has processed the monitoring of infected children with all care and tenderness.
  • With the work developed by the monitors in the After-Scholl classrooms, the school results improved a lot over the 2nd term with better grades, individual follow up for weaker students and constant monitoring by the teachers of assiduity and school attendance.
  • The regular weekly visits by the monitors to the sponsored children’s homes , has been an added value, increasing that family’s awareness that they have direct responsibility over their children and grandchildren growing up, bit at the same time allowing us to check the hygiene conditions and home environment of all the family life.
  • The relationship between the children has evolved and we feel the mutual help growing, not only in school but also in their homes.
  • The will to share also spread through the retribution for the help received. The mums, sisters and grandmothers have been working weekly in the farming plots and the production improved greatly. They work with dedication, interest and joy from the oldest to the youngest.
  • Children were livelier with the Feeding Support provided after the floods, which allowed them to have soup or porridge on a daily basis. It was a great help since they had nothing to eat; everything was taken and destroyed by the waters. Even after resuming the work on the farming plots, production was not immediate and the sugar provided under your support made the children’s life sweeter.
  • We cannot also forget the Seeds donated by ALG to restart our farming plots, which will help us to produce more and faster. We already harvested beans, tomatoes, lettuces, and next week we will harvest potatoes. The garlic looks good and we are about to transplant the cabbages and onions. Along with support provided to the school plots we thank you for the support provided to improve the farming plots of some children’s families.
  • Our hearts were moved by the help provided in the School Reconstruction that has been taking place to rebuild everything damaged by the floods: We already have the window’s nets ready, the doors, the warehouse floor, the desks are almost finished, and we are changing the locks on the windows. The bathrooms were improved and now we will move on to fixing the stoves, dish drainers and finally the general painting. Our school will be like new and on our own we would never be able to gather the necessary conditions to solve the problems caused by all the damages.
  • The presence of all the local volunteers travelling from Portugal was very enriching because through their work they not only incentivize and support the children but also manage to involve the teachers and parents. Their joyful and friendly presence, with no demands, living the daily life at school has been a huge help.
  • The University Scholarship support provided to Silvestre and Eduardo cannot go unmentioned, by improving local capacities we will have better results for children and a brighter future for these two students. Silvestre has been fully dedicated and Eduardo is in charge of the farming plots and school production doing everything within his reach to involve everyone and to increase the income even more.
  • What a joy, we received a camera! Now we can register and share everything that happens here.
  • Your financing of Technical Courses has helped the income generation initiatives making them more efficient and quicker. What we received so far helped us purchase materials and mainly invest in cooking classes by using the products from the farming plots, in candle making, in the banana trees, sowing and agriculture.
  • It is also important to remember the UPG Portugal sponsors who sent gifts and packages to children, providing them joy and reminding them that they are not alone.
  • The partnership with ALG also brought us the joy of your visits. It feels good to welcome you and by coming here you can confirm everything we have been doing with your help. Your visits bring us joy, elevate our spirits and allows us to create stronger and deeper bonds.

There is always a scent of perfume left in the hands of the ones offering roses, in the hands that can be generous, thus we sing in joy and witness the changes observed in our children, in their families and in the school.Finally I have to thank for all the care and attention shown by Mama Sara [Chairman, ALG] and Mama Anabela [Head of Sponsoring, UPG] in providing us everything we need.

On behalf of the team at school, monitors, teachers, students and all the sponsored children we thank you and we ask Good to repay you everything you do for us.With love, from Sister Lídia and from all the team in Santa Luisa.”

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