|Guerra Freitas, former Executive Director and Founder of SHAREcircle, is one of the relatively few Angolans of limited means to successfully acquire a university education overseas. Guerra, through the efforts of Evanston, Illinois resident Dr. Patricia Deer and other friends, was sponsored to come to the U.S. for an education. He attended East-West University in Chicago and, as valedictorian of his class, received his Bachelors of Business Administration. He then went on to Northwestern University where he received his Master’s in Public Policy and Administration.
Guerra, who survived the war, including seven land mine incidents, is focused on paying forward the support he received from others. Through SHAREcircle, his home province of Bié neighboring provinces of Huambo and Kuando Kubango, have received shipments of books, computers, medical supplies, solar ovens, vegetable and cereal seeds, agricultural implements and bicycles to help them rebuild their lives. Now he takes on a new program to bring a world-class university to his hometown, Kuito, the capital city of Bié Province.
Guerra's story of surviving the Siege of Kuito, of losing dozens of friends and family members (including his wife Teresa and son Abel to a single bullet) is both tragic and transformational. Guerra turned the pain and hopelessness of his situation into a way to create something new and inspirational.
With little funding and simply by telling his story and his dreams to others, Guerra has gone from being a high school teacher in Angola to testifying before the U.S. Congress on land mines and their impact on society in Angola, participating in International Conflict Resolution workshops, meeting senators, congressmen, governors, and ambassadors from around the world. Out of his experiences he has created an organization that has already changed the lives of thousands.
This new university SHARE is working to establish in central Angola will give thousands of people like Guerra's highly motivated, intelligent, and dedicated survivors' he means to create a better life for themselves, their community, and the world.
Guerra Freitas now serves as a Senior Advisor to SHAREcircle and it's Angola University Board of Trustees.