Looking at Africa: the birth of Fe y Alegría Chad
Fe y Alegría Chad starts through the initiative of the Mongo Diocese with the short term goal of building a strong and dynamic team to implement deep roots and consolidate the field presence of Fe y Alegría. It also aims to establish alliances with the local government and institutions so that its work may blend in and be coordinated with the existing education structure in the country. The long term goal is to design a model reference of Fe y Alegría in Africa.
It is a big challenge since Fe y Alegría has to take into accounts all the cultural, political and social characteristics of Chad; it has to be an African work led by Africans. Fe y Alegria´s modus operandi has to adapt to the social and cultural aspects of the new territory (for example that Chad is a predominant Muslim country). All of this in a context where child nourishment and clothing is scarce, children need to work and teacher's capacitating is deficient, among other difficulties.
The presence of Fe y Alegría in Chad is historical for Fe y Alegría and also for the education in Africa. Likewise, this shows the power of citizenship in favour of its own development, which is very encouraging.
Entreculturas´ involvement in the Project from the beginning is very relevant, since we are working towards "Africanizing" our organization and shedding some light on this forgotten continent. The presence of two Entreculturas Volpa volunteers in Fe y Alegría Chad is also important considering that the birth of Fe y Alegría in Venezuela, more than 50 years ago had also the commitment of young volunteers to help it work.
Two young and brave pioneers
Brunilde and Diamantine have no doubts. They are planning their trip to Mongo, Chad, and are calm. In spite of their young age, their experience makes them confident in their challenge to set the bases for the new and first Fe y Alegría in Africa.
Brunilde Román Ibáñez
Brunilde was born in Palencia and studied English Philology and Hispanic Philology.
She has worked as a teacher in several European countries and in the U.S. and in her own words " I needed a larger vision, to look at the world from a different perspective." She then started a Doctorate in Anthropology while working as a volunteer in Venezuela, during 9 months.
After the experience she was determined to continue discovering the world and contact other cultures, so while waiting for the occasion to come she worked as a free lance translator. Now, together with Diamantina and four other volunteers she faces an interesting mission: to create citizen networks and to prepare the local social structures for the implementation of Fe y Alegría in the region.
"I have no clear expectations, I will work as I go along, taking into account the time for adapting; I will work with the communities step by step, helping and doing what I can, absorbing the reality" she explains."This experience will also help me with me Anthropology doctorate".
Diamantina del Campo Sánchez
Diamantina comes from Fuerteventura (Canary Islands), although she spent most of her childhood in Malaga. She then worked as a social worker in Seville with homeless people.
She is very happy taking up this new project, because among other things " to get to know the reality of others, specially in Africa where I feel called by my roots" she says. "I look forward to being there, I am not afraid to go, although these last days are very intense, since I have to say good bye to many friends, my family... My parents are rather worried, now that the time to go has come, but they also understand that it is something I have always wanted to do, so they stand behind me in this".
From Entreculturas we give our support to the new Fe y Alegría team in Chad and we are confident that they are contributing to making the dream of Fe y Alegría in Africa come true. Thank you very much and we wish you good luck!