Street Child Launches New ‘Safer Schools’ Programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Street Child, along with long-standing grassroots partner Eben-Ezer Ministry International (EMI), are proud to announce the launch of its latest project to improve education in remote, rural Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo). This 3-year project, partly funded by the UK government's Department for International Development (DFID), will transform learning for 22,000 children in one of the most inaccessible, disadvantaged and conflict-affected parts of eastern DR Congo.
Schools in the ‘High Plateau’ of South Kivu in the DRC are not only extremely isolated but have suffered from the worst effect of government under-investment and mismanagement seen across the country. Low quality classroom infrastructure, high rates of teacher absence and insufficient education and teaching materials are the norm in many schools.
The ‘Safer Schools’ programme will raise the quality of teaching and management in 30 rural secondary schools and 90 primary schools, and will support teachers, parents and community leaders working together to improve the safety of schools and communities so that children can study and develop in a safe and enabling environment.
In addition to addressing the quality and safety of schooling, this project also addresses access to education for the most marginalised students, particularly children with disabilities, those displaced by conflict, girls and those from disadvantaged ethnic groups. It will enable 10,750 children who are either out of school or at high risk of dropping out, to enrol and remain in school by strengthening the economic capacity of their families through sustainable income generation and savings and loans initiatives.
In a context in which outbreaks of armed conflict are frequent, and where different forms of violence against children including sexual and gender-based violence are rife, the project will put in place community and school-based mechanisms to protect children from violations of their rights. It will support teachers, parents and community members to work together to protect children and it will also address some of the primary underlying cultural and social causes of inequality and conflict, through community awareness-raising and dialogue on topics such as early marriage, peace-building and gender equality.