Bairro Novo school
Bairro Novo is a settlement on the outskirts of the town of Cubal, in the Benguela Province – over 1,000 children had no opportunity for education. The goal was to build a 10-classroom school, to give these kids the chance to go to school for the first time. As an agricultural area, most live by means of subsistence farming or selling goods on the street. Enduring years of war and hardship, the community lives in desperate poverty, and has suffered without access to basic services that everyone deserves. Yet they have advocated for their children’s education and found ways to survive through difficult circumstances and a harsh economy.
Cubal was part of a huge sisal plantation. After independence, the area was deserted due to civil war. In 1977, people settled in and around Cubal for protection, with many occupying compounds belonging to the Benguela Railways Company, no longer in operation. In 2002, the war came to an end and the government decided to rebuild the country’s infrastructure, including that of Benguela Railways Company. In 2007, people were relocated to a new location, Bairro Novo. Sadly, promises of a school were never fulfilled, and as the population grew, so did the number of kids out of school.
A new young Mayor was appointed to Cubal, and as he previously worked in Bocoio as a teacher, he knew of the work of RISE. He decided to send a delegation of his aides to meet with our local leadership team, resulting in a commitment to partner with us to give the kids of Bairro Novo a starting point.
At a meeting in October 2021, with the mayor, some teachers, community members, traditional leaders, and kids, Adriano Huambo, RISE Angola Country Director, shared the news that RISE would build a school. All were thrilled to hear that their dream would come true. Rotary donated funds for a well at the school site, which was drilled in September. Funds for the school were raised, and construction began with the “laying of the first stone” in October.
The children, parents, and community watched the progress with excitement. The local government provided desks, chalkboards, and a wall around the perimeter of the school. On June 8th, a dedication ceremony was held. The community and Provincial Governor, Luis Nunes, thanked RISE for the wonderful partnership and generous contribution of this beautiful school!
Well funded by Rotary