The Portuguese community in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) has set up a Baccalaureate Academy whereby it is helping finance a project for orphaned children.
Morado Miguel, a Portuguese businessman who chairs the newly formed gathering in the Congolese capital, said the children, many of them equally abandoned, are under the care of a Franciscan religious congregation.
“We have a hundred ‘compadres’, who attend our dinners and who help us in the auctions and the offerings and donations, of which we then use the funds to help a congregation of Franciscan nuns of Our Lady of Victory who care for children orphans and also abandoned, and we will continue to help in what we can, “he explained.
Morado Miguel, 35, from Braga, Portugal, on the sidelines of the 47th World Congress of Bacalhau Academies, which this year took place in Johannesburg to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the ‘Mother Academy’ in Johannesburg.
The plenary, which took place from 17 to 21 October, approved the opening of the 60th session of the friendship and solidarity movement in Kinshasa.
“We have been in this for about a year and I am very happy to join this family. The goals are not easy to achieve but we have to get there little by little,” said the businessman.
According to Morado Miguel, the meeting in Kinshasa arose from the need to unite the Portuguese community which, he said, is scattered in the Congolese capital.
“We have the Portuguese school, for the Portuguese who live permanently or are in transit in Kinshasa, and where we used to make some snacks and some sardines, but for seven years nothing has happened, and therefore the need to meet and we got back together and from there came the idea of the Bacalhau Academy, “he told.
In the opinion of Morado Miguel, the community was only “from month to month or even from year to year”, and this cod meeting reinforced “the bonds of friendship” among the Portuguese in Kinshasa.
The Kinshasa Cod Academy, which is due to officiate in mid-2019, is the seventeenth Portuguese meeting in Africa, the continent with the largest number of ‘faithful friend’ academies.
Kinshasa thus joins a movement of 60 groups in 17 countries on four continents of the world: South Africa (11), Swaziland (2), Mozambique (2), Namibia (1), Angola (1), Portugal ( 12), Madeira (2), Azores (3), France (4), Luxembourg (1), Belgium (1), Canada (2), United Kingdom (1), Brazil (7), Venezuela (3), States United States (5) and Australia (1).
Morado Miguel estimates that the number of Portuguese living in the Congolese capital ranges from “100 to 150” but in all the country will not exceed 300 Portuguese.
“We have been there for many years, we are white people considered Portuguese, but we are like those there. Insecurity is evident everywhere, and we have our precautions to continue there,” he told.
“I am a native of Braga, I went to Kinshasa as a child, not even for a year, my father was there since 1980, there were activities there, with which we continue today,” he recalled.
Morado Miguel graduated in Portugal with a professional training in industrial mechanics and is currently working in the DRC for the transformation of wood and management of a quarry in Kinshasa, where the company employs 300 employees.
Asked about the future prospects of his business in the DRC, the young businessman said that they will “stand the boat as they can and time will tell in relation to the future”, adding that their main concern is to extend solidarity actions of the Bacalhau Academy.
“Now it is evolving to other areas of solidarity because if today we help the Franciscan nuns confraternity, tomorrow we can take other steps of the kind and even greater,” said Morado Miguel.