California Cabo Verdeans are doing their part to help raise money and awareness for Fogo volcano victims who were dealt a crushing hardship in the wake of the eruption of the Cabo Verde volcano, Pico do Fogo, on November 23, 2014.
On May 2nd, Side Door Entertainment held a fundraiser for the cause in Los Angeles at the home of producer, Mike Costa. His partner in the effort was Our Children, Our Future Inc., a nonprofit group from Braintree, Massachusetts.
Divanilde Santos Neves, President of OCOF said, “”On May 2, 2015, we hosted a fundraiser in collaboration with Side Door Entertainment to benefit the people of Chã das Caldeiras, Fogo – a community where residents were displaced after the Fogo Volcano erupted earlier this year. Our Children, Our Future, Inc. appreciates the generosity and willingness to assist displayed by our supporters in Los Angeles; more importantly, we know that it is very much appreciated by our friends, families and the people of Fogo. It is heartwarming to see people of all backgrounds come together to help make a positive impact in the lives of those living thousands of miles away. The proceeds will be sent to Igreja Nossa Senhora Da Ajuda, headed by Padre Egidio, who will be responsible for the appropriation of funds.”
Pico do Fogo first erupted on Nov. 23, at which point, 1,000 residents of Chã das Caldeiras were evacuated. Some 1,500 more people were forced to abandon their homes before the lava flow reached the villages of Portela and Bangeira. The powerful volcano finally quieted down in early February. Humanitarian efforts and donations from around the world have been directed to Ilha do Fogo.
Cape Verde is a volcanic archipelago comprised of 10 islands, nine of them inhabited by a population of about 530,000 people. They make their livelihoods by fishing, making garments for export, being a part of the thriving tourist trade and remittances from the islands’ diaspora.
Costa expressed how happy he was to be in a position to help the effort in Fogo. “We all have to chip in and do our part.” The May 2nd event was also an opportunity to introduce the Los Angeles community to Rotterdam filmmaker, Ivan Barbosa, whose internationally acclaimed film “Cabo” was screened for the fundraiser. Barbosa added, “As a Dutch Cape Verdean director I have always been interested in my heritage and roots. The subject matter and themes of my films quite often find their origin in my African, and more specific, Cabo Verdean culture. Even though I have never been to Fogo, I have a sort of relationship with the Island; my grandfather from my mother’s side was born there. Therefore I am even happier I could contribute with my film “CABO” to the Fogo Volcano fundraising project.”
Across town in Hollywood, Actress Anica Barbosa has been extremely successful in her efforts to help the Fogo victims. To date she has raised over $4000. “My passion for Cabo Verde runs deeper than just words. It’s in my blood, my DNA. I’m committed to the cause for the West Coast to get closer to Cabo Verde through our ongoing relief efforts for our brothers and sisters in this time of need and many more years to come. West Coast 4 Fogo to me means a lifelong mission to help Fogo and Cabo Verde!!
In no small way Cabo Verdeans in Northern California are also doing their part for the Fogo effort. The Cape Verdean West Association has been working with the Cabo Verde Consulate in Quincy, Massachusetts. “We raised $2500 for Fogo,” according to their president, Nuias DePina,
Bob Reinaldo, who heads up Sociedade Caboverdeana Do Norte De California in Sacramento, coordinated several fundraisers. “SCNC would like to congratulate all the California Cabo Verdeans in their heroic fund raising efforts for the victims of the Fogo Volcano. We have had a few fund raisers and have sent more than $1,000 for this worthy cause and have plans to do more.”
Pedro Graciano Gomes de Carvalho, the Consul General of Cape Verde in Boston commended the West Coast initiative. “It is with great pride that the Consulate General of Cabo Verde in the USA takes note of the solidarity movement generated by last November’s eruption of the volcano in Fogo. The population of Chã das Caldeiras is very thankful for the generosity of the Community, especially from the West Coast, which has certainly added to the efforts of the local and national authorities, working to rebuild the area and bring back a sense of normalcy to those displaced.”
By Mike Costa
June 16, 2015