Schools for Angolan Young Women
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Evangelical Congregational Church of Angola
The Evangelical Congregational Church in Angola (IECA) is a longstanding partner of Global Ministries, founded in 1880 in the Chilume Mission, Bailundo, and Huambo Province. Since the earliest days of its existence, IECA has paid great attention to social development. Improvements have been made in the lives of many people through projects of rehabilitation, training, literacy, health, peace, and reconciliation. Such improvements have helped the lives of many and have been beneficial in building relationships between various groups of the church's people.
Angola was ravaged by a 27-year civil war, which has devastated its people. They are suffering from extreme poverty, malnutrition, disease, and hunger. The war also has caused problems in Angola's economy and in Angola's society. There also is a lack of hospitals and schools. Many rural Angolans fled to the coast, the "bush," or to refugee camps. Life was harsh and void of education and tolerable living conditions. Basic skills and life preparation training were nearly lost to two generations.
People returning to their farms, villages, and cities are mainly women and children. War-torn areas, including where the IECA church is still strong today, are 70 percent women, many of whom need education and a way to feed their families. They are Angola's future!
This pressing need has touched the hearts of many, including former missionary families, to begin building on a proven legacy of grassroots rural development that will foster self-sufficiency. One such effort is the Dille/Dunbar Fund for Schools for Angolan Young Women, established with Global Ministries by siblings Thomas Dille and Nancy Dunbar and their spouses. Nancy and Tom grew up in Angola as the children of missionaries, the late Carl and Lois Dille. The Dilles and Dunbars are involved with Angola and support the IECA in many ways, one of these being this special effort to establish schools for rural, young Angolan women.
The Dille/Dunbar Fund for Schools for Angolan Young Women works with Global Ministries and partner church IECA to build government-approved schools in cities and former rural mission sites. Literacy, nutrition, health, sewing, agriculture, human rights, and small business operation are taught in all schools. When power is available, computer training is added. Literate students teach accounting and English as a second language.
These schools cost $80,000 - $100,000 to establish and equip. Since 1998, four schools have been built and are recognized by the Angolan government, which has provided some support for them, as "model schools" of Angola.