FASPEBI's Curriculum Vitae        The Story of FASPEBI         Guinea-Bissau's History

Supporting Foundation for the Development of the People of the Bijagos' Archipelago

along with the project supporting bilingual schools on several of the Archipelago's islands
(PAEBB: Supporting Project for Bilingual Bijago Education)


PERIOD A (1976- 1995)

I. 1976-1982

In 1976 began our first fishing group, featuring fishermen José Barbosa and Malam, with a six-horsepower Envirude motor, a small Nhominca canoe, and a fishing net. It worked well. (The fishermen returned the money they'd borrowed to buy the canoe and motor.) Fr. Luigi, upon returning from a visit to the United States, helped another 5 fishing groups, with money from the Catholic Relief Service of New York ($5000).

In 1979 was also begun in Bubaque the Traditional Fishing Project (Pescarte), financed by Sweden, with Volvo Penta motors slightly adapted to Guinea's climate. Pescarte's help was invaluable because it bought the fishermens' fish and transported it to Bissau, using refridgerators and iceboxes.

In 1980, with the help of small contributions from various organizations, approximately thirty fishing groups were helped, above all on the islands of Canhabaque, Orangozinho, Bubaque, and Canogo.

In 1982, with the arrival of Misereor (and its contribution of 241,800 Deutschmarks), the fishing project was accompanied by the Project of Agriculture, Cutting and Sewing, and Feminine Support (Hygiene and Nutrition) on the island of Orangozinho, under the management of Ms. Mina Hohener, sent by Interteam of Switzerland.

II. 1984-1986

In 1984, with the fishing groups representing a success for the local population, there began a new intervention by Misereor (with a contribution of 449,000 DM), with various impacts on the islands' fishing sectors and on the agriculture of Orangozinho (cashew orchards with barbed-wire fences for protection from cows, animal raising, and irrigation for gardening).

Switzerland's APPOBI (Appoggio Popolazione Bijagos) continues to send small but reliable finanical endowments to resolve health problems (manufacturing mosquito nets to prevent malaria, and purchasing barbed wire). Mechanical and carpentry workshops were also built for the construction of boats, with the cooperative help of Ferrario of Italy.

A Swiss mechanic, Rudolfo Moschberger, tries to use a glass fiber with the Nhominca canoes (similar to a Chinese project in Cumeré). The fiber didn't adhere well to the Bissilom wood, but it adhered quite well to the "Acanho" boats, built in Guinea-Conakry (with a lighter wood).

In this period a "free-market" politic begins. There is also an intervention by the International Monetary Fund, and gasoline prices rise while fish prices are frozen to compensate for the freezing of salaries.

To combat these economic difficulties (exaggerated gasoline costs), our project devises to use "outboard" gas motors (an Italian project using Ruggerini motors). With a lower gas consumption, they're more economical. However, they were poorly built, with a life span of only one to two years.

III. 1987-1990

A boat-building project begins, with the technician Christian from Denmark (who'd worked on the project, PESAC, of Bubaque's Catholic Mission).

There's construction of a "workshop" for building 2-ton boats (five + seven) and 4-ton boats (one), and to insert in-board Diesel motors (one- and two-cylinder Deutz engines).

Misereor suggests the formation of Assocations, with projects financed by the German Federal Government. Thus - following a visit to Sao Tome (1989) to see the fishing cooperatives of Dr Fernando Macedo Ferreira (president of the Portuguese NGO, Coopafrica), we began the experiment of the Association ASPEBI.

IV. 1990-1993

The fishing industry is in crisis, the fishermen earn nothing (gasoline prices are high, fish prices low, the fishermen get paid late, Sweden has pulled out its cooperation, etc.). In 1980, the price of a liter of gasoline was equal to that of a kilogram in fish; in 1990, it's three times higher.

Misereor holds a conference regarding the fishing cooperatives.

V. 1993-1995

In October 1993, Fr. Luigi leaves the Project in the hands of co-operator Vincenzo Coco, an Italian mechanic, and the director Giorgio Scrivanti, who begin a new ASPEBI initiative: new in-board Ruggerini Diesel motors, with hydraulic refridgeration (a substitution for the small Deutz motors with air refrideration); the sending of personnel to Portugal for internships (in education, mechanics, boat construction, agriculture), thanks to a project of 20 grants financed by Sedepru, Misereor, and OIKOS (an NGO out of Lisbon), under management of Mr. Lino Bicari.

PERIOD B (1995-1999)

I. 1995-1997:

FASPEBI is created in 1995, following Sedepru's refusal to continue financing projects with ASPEBI, PESAC, the sponsored internships in Portugal, etc.

Vincenzo Coco leaves the project due to family reasons, among others.

Our request for a new mechanic is refused.

Fr. Luigi invites a former ASPEBI intern living in Lisbon (doing a management course), Lulu de Pina, to return to Guinea-Bissau to manage a project of various activities: fishing, carpentry, trips abroad, the construction of gardening fences, cutting and sewing, the building of schools, etc.

During this period, FASPEBI shifts its determination to a desire to work above all with schools and bilingual education (Creole and Portuguese).

This shift is based on the experience of Fr. Luigi, having worked in Cambodia and Asia, where development is above all a result of education.

II. 1998: A Round Table Discussion (Faspebi - Cidac - the EU)

It's decided that bilingual learning will get its start during basic education.

III. 2001-2004: the 1st Phase of Cidac, the EU, Faspebi

The evaluation made by INDE (Alexandrino and Augusto Pereira) yields positive results./p>

IV. 2004-2007: 2nd Phase, with Faspebi & Friends of Fr. Luigi (Appobi-Pime Uam and Mam-Ambrosoli…)

INDE's second evaluation (Paolo Santos) yields positive results.

V. 2007-2009: Period of Self-Management

- 2007 Opening of the kindergarten and pre-school, overseen by the Nun of Bubaque

- 2008: Agreement of cooperation with Bubaque's Catholic Mission and the school community of Takir

- 25/06/08: Official Agreement with the MEES (Ministry of Education and Higher Learning)

- 03/02/09 : Official Agreement with Bubaque's subregional delegation

See FASPEBI's Curriculum Vitae

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