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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Charity in Paradise … Schoolbooks for Kids


Nilton Gomes is a man with a big heart, an even bigger smile and the biggest desire to make a difference in the lives of children. He was born 24 years ago in the interior of the island of Santiago surrounded by rolling green hills. He grew up poor. He remembers his school-days as happy days. But he also remembers that his parents were too poor to buy the textbooks he needed for school. Each of these books cost about €3 or US$4. His parents had to choose between feeding their kids and buying the text books. It’s a very tough choice for any parent. His school, Escola de Salina, did not have the resources to supply him with free schoolbooks.

Despite those early challenges, Nilton eventually went on to success: he serving in Cape Verde’s military, obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and is now assistant manager of operations at Cabo Verde Fast Ferry in the capital, Praia. But he never forgot where he came from. He decided that he would give back to his community, the community that raised and nurtured him, by helping the students who are sitting in the same desks and classrooms that he sat in almost 20 years ago.

Nilton enlisted the help of his former teacher – Manuel Barreto – who coincidentally, also works at Cape Verde Fast Ferry. Today they are headed back from Praia through those beautiful rolling hills into the interior of Santiago to visit three schools in Salina, Santa Cruz and Achada Ponta; with 400 text books that Nilton purchased on his own account; to distribute them to the students whose parents cannot afford to purchase them; accompanied by the proud CEO of his company.


Twins girls receiving books
You could hardly imagine the joy on the faces of those students and their teachers … or the look of satisfaction on Nilton’s face, knowing that he had just made a dramatic difference in the lives of hundreds of other young Niltons. You can see for yourself in the slideshow below (feel free to Share the slideshow with others or download the pictures).

Nilton aims to raise hundreds of dollars to purchase books for the schoolchildren of Santiago every year from now on. You see, even though there are nearly half-million tourists visiting Cape Verde every year, little to none of the economic benefits generated by tourism directly reaches disadvantaged children in the Cape Verde's schools.

While it may not seem like much to most people, it is hard to appreciate the significant and immediate impact that even $5 or $10 can make in the life of a single child. Nilton Gomes understands this and was moved to act! If you want to help Nilton provide schoolbooks to kids in Santiago, you are welcome to donate to the Seventy Times Seven Ministries, a non-profit organization or NGO in the USA, which supports Nilton’s cause – Schoolbooks for Kids.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow this is great, I hope to be able to do something like this when I relocate to Cape Vedre

Angelo said...

Your efforts would be greatly appreciated. I can personally arrange for you to make your contributions. When you get to Cape Verde, please contact me.

Anonymous said...

Is there any organisation I can contact regarding offering schoolbooks and stuff?

Angelo said...

There isn't really. There are a couple organizations that deal with orphans and children in need, but none that specifically deal with offering books. This is done by private individuals. I know of this young man who is based in CV, as well as a young lady who is based in the Boston. If you need contact info, let me know.

Angelo

Unknown said...

I would support a students education and expenses until graduation. How would I go about doing that?

Angelo said...

That's a very generous offer. Unfortunately, there is no organization that identifies specific children in need. And there are so many of these children in need. I would have to connect you personally to certain children that I am aware of from which you can choose. There is one child that I am helping. She just entered high-school. It is not very expensive because the needs in primary and secondary school are so basic...about $20-30 per month. But I cannot afford to help a student through college because the expenses are considerably higher (a couple hundred dollars per month). Let me know how you wish to proceed.

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