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SI members’ visit to the Cape Verde Islands

Trip to Cape Verde

In December 2014 four members of SI Cardiff and a member of Friendship Link Club SI Kenilworth spent a week on the island of Sao Vicente, Cape Verde, witnessing first-hand how girls are accessing secondary education as a result of funding from UK Soroptimists.

The project was originally set up by Jill Delgado and fellow members of the Cardiff club in 1997, and became known as ‘The SI Cardiff and District Education Trust’ when it was granted charitable status in 2006.

Currently, 16 promising girls from very poor backgrounds are in the process of finishing their schooling, thanks to financial support from SI Cardiff, Kenilworth, Swansea, Bridgend, Aireborough, and individual Soroptimists.

During the visit, a minibus tour of the poorer areas of the town of Mindelo emphasised the type of living conditions experienced by these girls and their families. It became clear that, without intervention, these girls would, undoubtedly, have to stay home to care for younger siblings or carry out household chores. Education provides the opportunity to escape from this poverty.

The girls involved are aware of the standards expected of them, and are encouraged in the knowledge that many graduates from the project are now in professional employment.

Visits were made to schools and a residential home, offering teenagers an improved after-school learning environment. The UK visitors were very impressed by the commitment of the teachers, and the standard of education available, in spite of the lack of funding for, what we would consider to be, essential resources.

Jill, her local contacts, and the organisation Esperança ensure the smooth-running of the project in situ.

Without doubt, the Soroptimist 3Es are being met here:

Educate – Empower – Enable

Joan Payne – SI Cardiff