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  • Writer's pictureThe Good Shepherd Project

Building work 2018

It took a long time, but we were finally able to get through all the red tape and bureaucracy and start the work to reform the “Casa Amora” (our main building). Government regulations, fluctuations in prices of materials and availability of contractors. Brazil is not the easiest place once you have to deal with anything legal or to do with the government, but God has blessed us in providing talented people who wanted to help.

A big thank you to Marinaldo (the Projeto Bom Pastor board president) and Alex who is a lawyer and also on the board, who has used his talents to help us get everything sorted out.

The team have just started on the 2nd level of the building, having finished the new offices downstairs. The admin team have already moved into the offices and are thankful for a purpose-built space that can properly address the needs of the community. It looks amazing and shows supporters that the charity takes its work seriously. It also allows all the team to work in one room, with a separate meeting space.

The 2nd level has involved pulling down everything that was there before, which has reminded us how large the piece of land is. The old building design was for a house, not a charity, meaning that there was a lot of wasted space that we couldn’t use properly. The new building will utilise every metre properly, allowing us to offer more courses than we currently do.

Things we plan to do include:

• A fully equipped kitchen, with space to teach culinary skills and potential hire out to students so they can cater for events.

• Continue our IT lessons but in a much better space.

• Have a dedicated classroom for language lessons. We currently offer English grammar lessons to assist students in passing their university entrance tests.

• Have access for disabled people and properly equipped bathrooms.

• Have a dedicated area for teaching Jiu-Jitsu that does not have to be tidied away or vacated in the rain.

• Have extra classrooms for other temporary courses we may run. Often the government makes funds available for short courses.

We don’t have an exact date for when we expect to finish the building work as things can vary, but we hope to have the 2nd level finished by July. This will enable things to go back to fairly normal. The community has helped us in providing alternative spaces to run courses in the meantime but it is a challenge. Currently we run activities in a church hall, a gym and two different schools, meaning we are at the mercy of their schedules, though it is good to involve them.

The first two levels have cost about £50,000 to build. We thank All Saints Woodford Wells for their donations as well as others who have helped so much.

A 3rd level has been drawn up and budgeted for - the dream is to build essentially a sports hall, which will mean all activities take place at the project building, rather than using a local school sports hall. Around 150 children take part in our various Futsal (indoor football) lessons every week, and it is definitely one of our most attended courses. However, right now it takes place in the sports halls of 2 different schools, both of which are old and becoming unfit for purpose. If it rains we are unable to run the lessons due to the halls flooding, and occasionally the school leadership decides to stop lessons for a few weeks. One of the schools is also situated in a dangerous area and puts the children at risk who have to go there in the evenings. We pray that God will help us to build this third level and give the community a space that can truly serve them. The estimate for this level is very rough as it was done over a year ago. But for us to do this third level it would come to roughly an additional £40,000.

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