Report from Waku Kungo School
The Evangelical Congregational Church in Angola (IECA) is a longstanding partner of Global Ministries, founded in 1880. Since the earliest days of its existence, IECA has paid great attention to social development and education. Improvements have been made in the lives of many people through projects of rehabilitation, training, literacy, health, peace, and reconciliation. This especially is the case in recent years, as Angola recovers from 27 years of civil war. Through its outreach and service ministries, IECA has helped the lives of many and has been beneficial in building positive relationships between various groups of the Angolan people, including those within the church.
One such project has been to provide a new primary school in Waku Kungo. Fundraising efforts by Reverend Mike Solberg, who swam the English Channel as part of his initiative, has resulted in this new school in Waku Kungo. The school, named by local leaders as “The Reverend Mike Solberg Evangelical School,” is now in full operational mode. Their school year started in February 2011, and the school educates 478 children who would otherwise have had limited or no access to education. One set of students, grades 1-6, attend school from 8:00 – 12:00 and another set from 1:00 – 5:00. All the classrooms are equipped with desks. The leadership of IECA reports that the school is held up as an example all over the province and throughout all of IECA. The denomination operates approximately 70 schools, and this one in Waku Kungo is among the best, in physical quality and in operation.
With six classrooms, the school is able to educate about 500 young people who would otherwise receive little or no education. But there is still great need for more classroom space in Waku Kungo – thousands of children do not have access to school. The foundation has already been laid for two classrooms, which would enable them to educate another 200 students.
In June-July 2011, Reverend Solberg and his daughter went to Waku Kungo for four weeks to teach English at the school. Reverend Solberg writes: “By spending time in one place with one group of people, I was able to get to know people and a little of the rhythm of their daily lives. Although I could not speak their language, still through interpreters and in other ways, communication happens. I could begin to see people in Waku Kungo as individuals . . . Getting beyond the differences between life in the U.S. and life in Angola, I could begin to see the similarities between who I am and who they are – especially as followers of Jesus.”
To read more of Reverend Solberg’s reflections on his trip: http://swimmikeswim.blogspot.com/
Global Ministries was happy to participate in the establishment of the Waku Kungo School through publicizing Reverend Solberg’s fundraising efforts and endorsing the financial support of individual and church constituents to the building and equipping of the school.