“In early July I visited the St. John Eudes school in Ndala Mulenba-Kicolo, an impoverished neighbourhood a few Km outside Luanda, the capital of Angola. This is the very first project I worked on for the Good Shepherd sisters and the Good Shepherd International Foundation 16 years ago. It brought me almost to tears hearing the story of Adeline. He started school under a plastic sheet that the sisters had set up in the middle of this slum, flooded at the beginning of 2000 by internally displaced people, escaping the bloody war that raged in this country for over 25 years. Adeline and the other kids used to carry their own tin cans to sit for class. The families and the overall community joined forces with the sisters to help buy a piece of land and start building a school. That’s when a young Sr. Rita contacted me, just arrived at this new job. There was no internet and not even reliable phones at the time. We did our best to communicate and pull together a project proposal. We had to use fax and rely on missionaries travelling to Italy to get the paperwork. Eventually, we encountered a few great benefactors who agreed to support the building of the school and even travelled to Luanda to visit the community.
Fast forward 16 years, Adeline is standing in the courtyard of the school, which today welcomes 1,500 kids, from 1st to 8th grade and has recently expanded with a secondary school branch. He is telling us his success story. That little boy sitting on the tin can has now become a Chemistry professor and he is proud to show us around “his” school that is changing the face of his neighbourhood.”
Cristina Duranti, GSIF Director