The BLB supports school links which range from long-term partnerships such as between Luckwell primary in Bedminster and Matacuane primary or Colston primary in Cotham and Macuti primary to one off year group projects. The BLB has also developed two Mozambican artefacts boxes with exciting teaching materials which schools can borrow.
Clifton High school has a long-running link with the First of May pre-school in Beira as does St Bernadettes primary in Hengrove with Macarungo primary. In the past, other links between secondary schools have been set up for shorter periods.
The BLB helps the schools access funding from the British Council and government ministries. Almost 20 local teachers have visited and worked in Beira schools while a dozen Beira teachers have worked in Bristol schools. Both professional and curriculum development have benefitted from these exchanges.
The BLB organises regular Mozambican visitors to this network of Beira linked schools. Traditional musician and storyteller Celso Paco spends two weeks every autumn term running workshops and assemblies in local schools. His sister, Lucrecia Paco who is Mozambique’s most famous actress, also performed her one woman show in schools and the museum here. The BLB has also hosted national and local Mozambican politicians, trade unionists and climate change activists.
In each case it is a priority to include in their programme at least one visit and a Q&A session in local schools. In 2010, the BLB brought over Fairtrade cashew and peanut producer Isobel Antonio to deliver schools workshops and assemblies during the national Fairtrade Fortnight and she spoke with over 3,000 pupils.
In Beira we have funded some small renovation projects in schools as well as buying some teaching materials, donating sewing machines and donated classroom furniture via our occasional containers of material aid. Through our relationship with the University of Bristol’s Hispanic Dept, students have been taken on placement with our team in Beira and often include regular work in schools as part of their brief with us. Individual link schools also fundraise for specific items such as computers or sewing machines for their partner Mozambican school.