The prime minister of Cape Verde recently commended the Seventh-day Adventist Church for its social commitment in that West African nation. Ulisses Correia E. Silva made congratulatory remarks during a visit to Achada São Filipe Seventh-day Adventist Church in Praia, the country’s capital city, on December 21, 2021.
Adventist Cabo Verde Conference president Natalino Martins and other pastors and department directors welcomed Silva and hosted the visit.
In answers to media outlets, Silva said that this visit is part of the program “Mobilization for Accelerated Social Inclusion” (MAIS), a government initiative to fight and put an end to extreme poverty. Various institutions and nongovernmental organizations are involved in supporting the initiative, as Silva acknowledged.
“First, I would like to acknowledge the wonderful work that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is doing. It is an old denomination in Cape Verde, and especially at the beginning of the pandemic, they held a very strong action of solidarity,” Silva said.
According to Silva, churches play an “important role” in the fight against extreme poverty in Cape Verde. It was what drove the government’s decision to partner with religious entities to increase the response capacity to this scourge that affects thousands of Cape Verdeans, he said.
Silva also said that his administration, within the framework of the program, intends to emphasize improving the living conditions of families. The idea, he said, is to develop actions by working with entities that are daily on the ground and know the local reality.
“We came here to define a framework of good partnerships within the MAIS program,” Silva said. “There are areas and aspects of convergence; the church is already working within the communities. They are doing serious work; they know families’ social and economic reality. We can work together so that no child is excluded from preschool,” he said.
Martins welcomed the government’s initiative and noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has left many families in extreme poverty. “I want to congratulate the government of Cape Verde for this great initiative in creating a very important program for our community, especially in these times. Seventh-day Adventists are available to collaborate and strengthen this partnership,” he said.
After the church visit, Silva also stopped by the Palmarejo Seventh-day Adventist School, a K-12 educational institution. Silva and his party received copies of Adventist books.
Cabo Verde Conference is part of the Western Sahel Union Mission in the West-Central Africa Division (WAD) of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The Adventist Church was established in Cape Verde in the 1930s. As of September 2021, there are 9,550 baptized Adventist members worshiping in 82 churches and companies in the country.