The Brazilian Association of Descendants of Lagos (BDA) in collaboration with the Federative Republic of Brazil launched the Portuguese course in the Lagos Island region of the state.
Taiwo Salvador, director of education research, BDA, said in a statement on Thursday that the program aims to promote the Portuguese language and give young people a world-class opportunity.
Ms. Salvador said the program aims to encourage young people to establish the language in the state’s Brazilian community.
According to her, the Portuguese language is one of the main languages spoken in Brazilian communities.
She highlighted the benefits of the program, adding that being bilingual was an added bonus for exploring the world.
She urged beneficiaries to take the program seriously.
“With a letter proving it, the Brazilian government granted us the opportunity and permission to establish the language in the community.
“Wherever you go and you can speak an additional language, it’s a plus for you and gives you the privilege of having other opportunities.
“So the advantage of the language has two phases: establishing it in our community and the advantage of traveling to Brazil for four years to study any discipline without tuition fees.
“When you read your Bible, let that be the second thing you do and when you do your traditional worship, let that be the second thing you do because it will take you places and change your life,” he said. she declared. .
Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, the wife of Lagos State The governor, who is also a Brazilian descendant of the Carrena family, represented by Olumide Ibitoye, described the program as a landmark and historic event.
“I am delighted to be part of this landmark and historic event marking the official launch of the Portuguese Language Program of the Brazilian Association of Descendants of Lagos, supported by the Brazilian government to promote skills and knowledge in our beloved state.
“Without a doubt, this program, which is the first of its kind at the local level by the Brazilian government to promote the Portuguese language in the Brazilian neighborhoods of the island of Lagos, is commendable and remarkable.
“This is a giant step in promoting the rich cultural and historical ties between Lagos and Brazil.
“It is a statement of fact that Lagos and Brazil have a lot in common historically, Brazilians from Nigeria, called Agudas, settled in Lagos and created the Brazilian neighborhoods,” she said.
Ms Sanwo-Olu said the story of Lagos State could not be told effectively without many references to the role played by European traders and travelers who were among the early settlers of the Lagos Kingdom.
She said that history has it that due to Lagos’ geographical location on the lagoon, Portuguese merchants gave the island its name, Lagos, while the island of Lagos to the native population is called Eko.
“It clearly establishes the fact that we have a lot in common and that there must be a concerted effort to revive and strengthen historical awareness, especially among the younger generation.
“It’s about appreciating where we came from, where we are now and where we need to go in the future.
“Therefore, on behalf of the good people of Lagos State, especially the Brazilian Association of Descendants of Lagos, allow me to extend my warmest appreciation to the Government of Brazil, through the Consulate of Brazil in Lagos.
“For the salutary initiative designed to support and promote the teaching of the Portuguese language in our dear State.
“It is particularly commendable that the Brazilian Consulate is working to promote the appreciation of culture through the use of the Portuguese language among interested family members of the Brazilian Descendants Association,” she said. .
Ms. Sanwo-Olu noted that this would go a long way in helping family members appreciate their rich cultural heritage and draw on it for effective communication.
“It is also instructive that the program was designed to give qualified members the opportunity to continue their studies in Brazilian higher institutions.
“For us in Lagos State, we are proud and happy to identify with the various advances of the Brazilian Association of Descendants of Lagos in ensuring that the historical bond between Lagos and Brazil is not completely relegated” , she said.
Also, Gaizamo Martins, President, BDA, gave the chronological background of the Brazilian descendants and their unique upbringing.
Mr. Martins noted that most of them were overwhelmingly Christian.
Lagos State Commissioner for Education, Folashade Adefisayo, represented by Hashrup Taiwo, Director of the Multilingual International Resource Centre, said the state places a high value on teaching and learning for all languages through the Centre.
Ms. Adefisayo said the Center was located in six educational centers.
She noted that Chinese, French, German and Arabic, among others, were currently being studied in the various designated centres.
She reiterated the government’s desire to partner with BDA to include the Portuguese language in schools in Lagos.
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