Portuguese Government’s Gift of Libraries to Johannesburg Schools
Walt Disney once remarked, “There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island.” In line with this sentiment, Consul-General of Portugal in Joanesburgo, Graça Fonseca, along with Joel Campos Coelho, Deputy Coordinator of Education for South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Eswatini, and Zimbabwe, recently made a practical contribution to local pre-schools—Kings Castle, Linksfield Castle, and Accacia.
José Luis da Silva, Conselheiro das Comunidades Madeirenses in Johannesburg, was also in attendance.
The handover event occurred at Linksfield Castle, led by Lucy de Sousa, situated in Linksfield Road, Duvengan, Edenvale. The institution, home to 128 children, 51 of whom are Luso-descendants, provided a fitting backdrop for this educational initiative.
Fernanda Gouveia, a Portuguese language teacher of Madeiran descent, introduced a group of children who demonstrated their language skills through songs inspired by Camões and Pessoa before the libraries were unveiled.
Each library, consisting of 24 carefully chosen books strategically aimed at presenting engaging stories, enriches the literary resources of these pre-schools. Fernanda Gouveia emphasized the significance of such initiatives in supporting parents facing challenges in communicating in Portuguese with their children.
During the event, Consul-General Graça Maria Araújo da Fonseca praised Fernanda Gouveia’s work and encouraged parents to borrow the offered books for Portuguese language acquisition. Joel Campos Coelho expressed admiration and encouraged the continuation of the efforts, providing insights into teaching Portuguese to young minds. This unfolded in the presence of dedicated educators committed to the region’s children.
Fernanda Gouveia’s teaching methods, highlighted during the event, underscore the effectiveness of interactive language education. By incorporating songs into the learning process, she instills a love for the Portuguese language and its literary tradition.
The active involvement of the Consul-General and Joel Campos Coelho underscores a hands-on approach to community development. Their recognition of the challenges and opportunities in early childhood language education reinforces the importance of collaborative efforts in shaping the linguistic landscape of the community.
Consul-General Graça Fonseca’s call for parents to participate in their children’s linguistic education emphasizes the broader significance of parental involvement in early childhood development. Encouraging parents to borrow the library books has a dual benefit: strengthening family bonds and nurturing linguistic proficiency.
This practical initiative by the Portuguese Consulate and Instituto Camões, led by Graça Maria Araújo da Fonseca and Joel Campos Coelho, significantly enhances the educational experience of young learners in Johannesburg. The gift of libraries opens doors to a world of stories and knowledge, fostering a connection to Portuguese cultural heritage.