Democratic Republic of Congo.
Why the Democratic Republic of Congo?
Despite its substantial natural resource, wealth and imposing size, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) ranks among the poorest countries in the world. It is still recovering from the violent conflicts that ravaged the country in the 1990s and cost the lives of an estimated 5.4 million people through disease and malnutrition. The war has also left huge educational challenges in the country.
We are currently working in South Kivu, one of the most conflict-affected eastern provinces, in two different locations. The first is the High Plateau – a remote mountainous region – which suffered some of the worst violence during the civil war. While much of the DRC now enjoys relative peace, there is on-going inter-ethnic violence and insecurity in this remote region. Communities have been displaced and schools destroyed leaving children out of school. Yet few NGOs work in this remote region because it is so difficult to access.
The second location of our work is the refugee camp in Lusenda, 70km from the Burundian border. The camp was formed in 2015 following the political instability in Burundi which caused over 400,000 refugees to flee the country. There are still 46,000 Burundian refugees in DRC, the largest proportion of which are housed in Lusenda camp. Local Congolese schools in Lusenda have struggled to meet the demands of the huge increase in students as a result of the refugee influx and many children are missing out on quality education.
What We Do.
On the South Kivu Plateau we are applying our proven model to revitalise the education system and improve communities’ ability to support their children’s education. We are taking a multi-level approach that includes teacher training, school quality management, engaging parents, removing economic barriers to education and tackling social and cultural barriers that prevent disadvantaged girls from receiving education. We also have a school infrastructure improvement programme, under which we have built and rehabilitated 22 schools to date.
In Lusenda where secondary schools are particularly overstretched, we have trained secondary teachers to improve the quality of teaching, and provided teaching materials, student kits and uniforms.
In total we aim to support 20,000 children in DR Congo over the coming years.