What does Fresno have to do with shaping the future of Guinea-Bissau?

Domingos Simões Pereira is honored at the 1994 Fresno State University graduation ceremony after completing his masters in civil engineering. Pereira, who spent 2 ½ years at Fresno State, is now the prime minister of Guinea-Bissau, the highest-ranking government official in the country.

In the spring of 1994, a young student from Guinea-Bissau named Domingos Simões Pereira walked up on stage at the Fresno State University graduation ceremony to receive his master’s degree in civil engineering. For the past 2 ½ years Domingos had studied at the university alongside five other Guineans who had been awarded scholarships to study in the United States. It was an important step forward for his education – an education that, two decades later, would prepare him for the biggest challenge of his life: Help salvage his home country from years of military coups, a disastrous economy, and rampant corruption.

Now you and I have the chance to join Domingos in helping transform his country. Following elections in Guinea-Bissau in April this year, Domingos was appointed prime minister, the highest-ranked government position in the country. He’s already implemented a flurry of reforms – including helping replace the country’s coup-prone military chief last month – while at the same time trying to guard Guinea-Bissau against the Ebola epidemic that has engulfed West Africa.

[Get your tickets to the WAVS Dinner Banquet here]

The Fresno State alum is the right man for the job. But he can use all the help he can get. That’s why I’m excited to invite you to the 2nd annual WAVS Dinner Banquet this Friday. In one night, we will raise the funds needed to sustain and grow the WAVS School’s Language Department in Guinea-Bissau for the next three years – giving hundreds of young Guinean women and men the skills they need to follow in Domingos’ footsteps to get a higher education, find higher-paying jobs, and transform their country from the bottom up.

Now is the perfect time to get in on the ground floor of helping reshape Guinea-Bissau’s story. I hope to see you on Oct. 10!


Chris Collins
WAVS Executive Director

P.S. Click here to find out more about the WAVS Dinner Banquet and to get your tickets.