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Waku Kungo School Update, Angola

March 3, 2010

Update Report on Angola School Project
Waku Kungo, Angola
Evangelical Congregational Church in Angola (IECA)
January 2010

Funds for the Primary School in Waku Kungo, Angola have been provided by gifts to SwimMikeSwim (see details here) and from the Tuthill Commission of the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ. Global Ministries is grateful for the generosity of time, talent and treasure, in particular, that of Reverend Mike Solberg of Second Congregational Church of Rockford, Illinois. We are pleased to present this update provided by the Department of Social Assistance, Studies and Projects (DASEP) of the Evangelical Congregational Church in Angola (IECA), a Global Ministries partner.

Below is the text (slightly edited by Global Ministries) of a first progress report on the Waku Kungo School building project, provided to Reverend Mike Solberg by Mr. Luis Samacumbi, the Director of DASEP. 

School in Waku Kungo - Update by Luis Samacumbi

December 2009 Update

"So raise up your tired hands! Strengthen your weak knees!" (Hebrews 12: 12)

It was 3:30 AM on December 16, 2009, when I woke up at Hotel Nino where I stayed overnight after the hard work in Bunjei Mission Station--Huila Province. No water in the tap for the needed shower! Then I took the small bottle of mineral water left the day before just to wash my mouth at least. Everything was quiet, all sleeping, including the guards at the Hotel who did not notice my departure. It was raining strongly; a hat protected my head from heavy drops of rain.  I went to my car, a Toyota Land cruiser, green plate LBA 44-55, the companion of long trips and moments of solitude on the roads of Angola. The American music animated this fighter for peace and social justice, leaving for the city of Waku Kungo in the fulfillment of another noble mission.

Yes, the future of Angola depends on good education that frees the minds of children and youth from the recent past, which was not a good one we were forced to live for more than three decades. In fact education is peace, peace is democracy, and democracy is social and economic justice.

Children in Waku Kungo have been waiting for the school without getting tired since September 2003 when a team led by Luis Samacumbi (here writing) did the baseline survey that indicated education as a top priority in that particular area.

What is new?

In my recent monitoring visit on the ground December 16, 2009, I was able to see the progress in the implementation of the project. So, I am pleased to report to all of you the following developments occurred:

·  The building of the school started with the opening of the specific Bank Account in Waku Kungo to ensure transparent use of funds;

·  Three people are subscribers of that account, their signatures are compulsory for any bank account transaction;

·  A team of four persons was created and trained in financial management by the Director General of DASEP [Department of Social Assistance, Studies and Projects] to ensure transparency and expenditure control;

·  Three builders were hired to build the school. They will have the support of volunteer members of the community;

·  Construction materials including:  stone, sand, bricks, cement, etc., were purchased;

·  The plan of the school with six classrooms is in place and approved by the Waku Kungo Municipal Section of Education, which will pay the teachers when school starts;

·  The foundations are already being dug and lifted.

Challenges:

There is no internet available in Waku Kungo and the Project team doesn't know how to operate it if there were access. Updates and photos will come as Reverend Samacumbi is able to travel to Waku Kungo

The goal for this project has gone from $50,000 for a school with four classrooms to $70,000 for a school with six classrooms.  This is due to new Angolan government regulations regarding the size of new primary schools.  On the positive side, the new school will serve 630 children instead of the originally projected 420 – an increase of 50 percent.   (The original project description can be found here: http://globalministries.org/africa/projects/waku-kungo-primary-school.html).

February 2010 Update:

"... Our God will fight for us" (Nehemiah 4: 20b)

Brother Luciano, one of those responsible for implementation of the project came to Angola's capital city Luanda at the end of January. At this point we exchanged ideas about the work and also put in perspective what the future hold for the kids once the school is completed. The commitment and interest of government officials in the municipality was the highlight of our conversation.

The school year in Angola officially began on February 1, 2010. In Waku Kungo, you can also see in the streets of the city children dressed in white, carrying their chairs to sit. Our desire is to see children studying in a school with better conditions of learning and education where no child will bring a chair from her/his own home. The work started in Waku Kungo supported by Rev. Mike Solberg, the Tuthill Commission, the Illinois Conference, the Angola Partnership Group, with facilitation of Global Ministries, is actually the indicator that we are moving in the right direction towards this more just Angola, based on ethical moral and Biblical principles.

What is new?

It is with great joy and enthusiasm that I share the following progress:

• The Municipal Administration of Waku Kungo is very pleased with the initiative of IECA to build a six rooms school;

• Rev. Joaquim Alberto Mukupe, IECA's pastor in Waku Kungo was recently elected to the highest position in the Provincial synod of Kwanza Sul as Provincial Secretary, in the last Assembly held in Uku Seles on the weekend February 6-7, 2010. This means that Pastor Mukupe will move to Sumbe – capital city of the Province in a near future.  Let me insure that this change will not affect in any way the implementation of the project as Rev. Mukupe will be the Provincial Secretary and will oversee all activities and projects including the work begun in Waku Kungo. Moreover, DASEP National is closely following the Waku Kungo project actions;

• The foundations are all finished at this time;

• 33 pillars completed; 13 more are about to be finished. Once completed this step, they will begin raising the walls of the school;

• Main materials including: iron 12mm for pillars, one thousand bricks, stones and sand, are already on the construction site;

• The builders have already received 25% of the amount agreed up on the contract for their payment.

Word of thanks:

On behalf of all of us in IECA, please allow me thank you sincerely for turning the dream of many children in Waku Kungo into reality. Keep it up, do not be weary.

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