Lucia Bofen. Photo: Elba Salazar Cuba

The Isle of Youth.- Lucia Bofen from Namibia, a survivor of the 1978 Cassinga massacre, perpetrated by apartheid South Africa at a refugee camp in southern Angola, expressed her gratitude to the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro, for giving her the opportunity to study on the Isle of Youth, and thus contribute to her country’s development.
Lucia is one of 22 former Namibian students who returned to Cuba to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the internationalist scholarship program, which benefited over 50,000 children and adolescents from various countries damaged by centuries of colonialism.
During an encounter with teachers and students at the Martha Machado pedagogical school, the graduates reminisced about their time in Cuba, noting that they could barely read or write when they arrived to the island in the late 1970s, where they not only received an education but also love and support.
The Namibians, meeting in the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples office in Nueva Gerona, held an emotional encounter with teachers and staff of their former schools, including the Hendrick Witbooi center. Participants are also set to meet with medical students, where in an act denouncing imperialism, they will express their opposition to the United States blockade imposed on Cuba for more than half a century.
Former students from other nations including Mozambique and Nicaragua have also been arriving to this solidary isle, which helped thousands forge their futures, to attend the main act commemorating the 40th anniversary of the international schools, to be held in El Pinero memorial square in the coming days.