The PEPE in Guinea-Bissau, with 16 units in operation and serving 352 children, was confronted by the challenge of suspending its presential activities by government guidance, due to the growth of COVID-19 infection in the country. With this, the missionary-educators had to organize themselves to send the activities for children to do at home. What has pleased us too much is the positive answer of the families, encouraging the development of children, even at home.
PEPE in the country has a great acceptance because of the quality service offered to children and their families. Children are beneficiated with the access to quality education and nutritional care, this is extremely relevant for their integral development. The families are guided by a missionary nutritionist to an acquisition of healthy eaten habits.
We have worked with the nutritional education with children through playful activities, we also serve a nutritive snack in each day of activity in the unit. But, unfortunately, not all the units have succeeded in offering the snack, because of the lack of economic resources. However, we are not discouraged; we believe that God will provide food for all children of all the units in Guinea-Bissau.
Another area that has positively impacted children’s health is the POPE, that is the educational preventive work of oral health. The PEPE in Guinea-Bissau has received the support of a NGO that donates a kit that contains a toothbrush, a towel, and a soap to each child. Every week it is done an activity related to the topic and children brushes their teeth every day after the snack. Twice a year these children are cared for a dentistry team. Those that have some problem, are forwarded to a partner clinic.
But not only this have happened in PEPE in Guinea-Bissau! We also have PEPE GOES that is the program of visitation to children. The objective is to strengthen the bonds with families and also talk about Jesus Christ. In the visits, we have the opportunity of praying for the family, read the Bible and invite to initiate the biblical studies. Thank God this work has given result in various aspects. The families feel more valued and welcome by the local church. The result are people following Jesus!
José Ricardo Nascimento
Continental Coordination of PEPE Africa.
Translated by Mylena Maria Martins de Oliveira Lopes