Nancy Germano Schwarz Okeigwe; born on April 9, 1973 in the city of Bissau, married, mother, graduated in Sociology and underwent specialised training in Special and Inclusive Education, for people with Asperger Syndrome (Autism) and Dyslexia.
Educated by her mother and grandparents, she was taught at an early age to value the simple things in life and to express her feelings and wishes in an assertive, free and responsible way, avoiding aggressive confrontation, in an attitude of respect for the feelings of the other.
In 1987, she studied in the Republic of Cuba, where she remained until 1992. It was in this country that at the age of 16, she realised the activist facet that would characterise her throughout her life. Here she decided to integrate the ranks of the African Youth Amílcar Cabral (JAAC), believing that this type of organisation was an essential platform to combat passivity and increase levels of social responsibility.
When, in 1992, her older brother informed her that their mother had sent them the ticket for the final return flight to Portugal, contradictory feelings took over Nancy. She was torn between the joy of returning to her closest relatives, and the sadness of leaving friends behind, and a country that had taught her the true essence of sacrifice in defence of the ideals of justice.
Once in Portugal, she completed secondary education at the Joao de Deus Secondary School in Faro and then attended the Portimao’s Lusophone University for two years studying Sociology. She continued her studies in Sociology at the Lisbon campus of the same University Lusophone, where she was awarded the best student of the 3rd year. The diploma received was dedicated to her Mother, Maria Fernanda Ledo Germano Schwarz who she considers to be her greatest source of inspiration.
While at the University in Lisbon, she became co-founder of the “Guinean Student Movement for Civic Emancipation”. The Movement organised a march in Lisbon entitled “In Defence of Peace and Stability of Guinea-Bissau”, an event that received the coverage of RDP Africa Radio.
In 2006, during a vacation trip to Canada, she realised the need to increase her English language proficiency. So upon her return to Portugal, she opted to leave the company where she worked, in the Human Resources Department, to reside in the United Kingdom.
In London, she met the author of the project “Association of the Guinean Community in London”, which invited her to form the Association of Guinea-Bissau. The work developed by this organisation is well known to the Guinean and Lusophone community in London and also in Guinea-Bissau.
Nancy Schwarz is always and forever dedicated to causes of solidarity, providing endless help to others. In 2011 she applied for unpaid leave to the MacIntyre, where she worked as a Special Needs Learning Support Worker, in order to coordinate the team that would take school supplies, hospital materials and clothing, destined to the Hospitals of Bissau, Bafata, Mansoa and Bolama.
Returning to the country she had left 24 years earlier, and after recovering from the initial “shock” when she realised the state of destitution in which her Guinea was, the desire that overwhelmed her was to participate directly and actively in the reconstruction of Guinea -Bissau.
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