URI senior organizing efforts to send school

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Supplying Cape Verde students with a future

KINGSTON, R.I. – April 8, 2009 – As Ludovica Almeida toured a Cape Verde library, the empty shelves and limited books helped her understand how scarce resources were for the nation.

Almeida, a University of Rhode Island senior from Providence, who was completing a study abroad program in Cape Verde during the summer of 2007, wanted to make a difference for her homeland. She hopes to raise awareness and solicit book donations for Cape Verde students.

Majoring in biological sciences with a minor in psychology, Almeida is the president of the Cape Verde Student Association, a group concentrating on the economic struggles of Cape Verde. Many people are unaware of the great effort the nation is making to build its economy from scratch.

In 1975 Cape Verde gained independence after a war with Portugal. Since then the nation has been trying to build its economy from nothing. The people of Cape Verde have few educational opportunities, and many children live in orphanages due to their parents’ low incomes.

In response to those issues, the Cape Verde Student Association is putting together school supply packages for children within one of the orphanages. The packages include pens, pencils and notebooks, and will aid children who are all under the age of 12. It is a luxury in Cape Verde to show up to class with paper and a pencil.

“I was hoping to collect donations from students who are trying to sell back books and may only get a few dollars in return. Instead of selling them back they could donate them to a great cause,” said Almeida.

With parents from Cape Verde, Almeida developed a love for the nation’s culture. Almeida ‘s upbringing taught her to nurture her Cape Verde heritage.

“Growing up surrounded by the culture made me grow a passion for it. I love the food, the culture and the language. I felt I could really contribute and learn by becoming a member of the Cape Verde Student Association,” said Almeida. “I loved meeting people within the association and learning how they view Cape Verde. There are so many different and exciting aspects of the lifestyle.”

To learn more about contributing to the effort, contact Almeida via email at uri_cvsa@hotmail.com.