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Father Silvano really wanted to set up this project, most of all to give the Pygmy children the possibility of having a peaceful and decent existence in the boarding house.

Until three years ago, the boarding house hosted about 55 children, the following year 105, and in 2019-2020 Father Silvano hosted 75 children. The children’s results have been astounding: the teachers are very active and proactive, which has helped the boys and girls in the school achieve very high marks. They also go to school on a full stomach and, now that they are living in a peaceful and conflict-free place, lead a full and happy life.

The Pygmy families are very grateful to Father Silvano for the great opportunity he is giving their children: for the possibility of having a different future.

Empowering girls – a boarding house for pygmy girls

The desire of “Mupe” has always been to build a boarding house for the Pygmy girls, so that boys and girls have equal opportunities and gender inequalities in the education field are removed.
Father Silvano’s dream came true when he inaugurated the boarding house for Pygmy Girls “Mamma Bakhita” – named after Sister Bakhita, who was born in Sudan, enslaved, but once freed, became a nun and fellow villager of Father Silvano in Schio. It initially housed 22 girls, who immediately saw a noticeable positive change in their lives.

A boarding house had also been strongly been requested by the families of the girls who attend the school, who for some time had been begging Father Silvano to let their daughters board.

The two boarding houses are on two hills facing each other. The girls and boys go to school together in the two primary schools that Father Silvano has recently renovated.

A typical day

Most of the boys and girls come on foot from over 70 kilometres away. As they walk, a motorbike carrying the necessary food drives on ahead, so that in the evening when they arrive at their pre-established destination, they find dinner ready. If necessary, the bike goes back to pick up the weaker ones.

The boys and girls get up early in the morning, have breakfast, go to school singing and in single file. They go back at 1pm, have lunch and a break. In the afternoons, twice a week they have school revision, twice a week they play sports and on the two other days they do some small jobs. Then they study, have dinner and get ready for bed.

I also have some games, but only a few – Father Silvano says – A football, skipping ropes for the girls. Luckily we have a large football pitch… and then, most important of all, we have the forest behind us … It is their world – he concludes