Creation of a Student Hall of Residence in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic Of Congo

Project location: Congo, Democratic Republic, Lubumbashi
Project start date: September 2009 - Project end date: August 2010
Project number: 2009-46
Beneficiary: FIDESCO

Lubumbashi is, with its 1 million inhabitants, the second biggest town in the DRC. After 35 years of "Mobutu"-regime, 10 years of civil war, the Country is battered. The new government faces huge problems, also due to a lack of respect of law and order. Step by step, the region of Lubumbashi is economically recovering. Nevertheless, it is very difficult for young Congolese students not to loose their integrity. Especially young girls, who come to town to study, may fall in many traps due to their difficulties to finance life and to find any accommodation. They are often forced to share a room with boys and to pay them the rent in kind or by prostituting themselves.
In addition to that, it has been observed that young Congolese, once they get the status of a student, seem to be swallowed up by a culture of laziness, corruption, prostitution and the using of parental connections for "easier success".

The main goal of the project is to support the emergence of a leading class of Congolese, able to face the specific challenges of the DRC, in order to become the actors of a reconstruction of the country.

Two main goals should be defined:
- giving the material facilities to students to study under good conditions, (a)
- proposing additional training in order to give them a solid personal and moral structure and to prepare them for professional life. (b)

a) Near the university campus, a student hostel for 24 female students will be built. The whole life in this hostel is is organized so that the students can grow in their sense of responsibility and so that they learn to work in teams. Every student contributes to food and accommodation costs. The selection of the students is based on criteria of competence and motivation.

b) The complementary formation will include:
- human formation based on the knowledge of human nature, religious anthropology, ethic of work and decision making process, morality, communication and sports
- two tutorials will be proposed in Law and Medicine

This additional training will be assured by external persons of civil society and from the university. Some of the tutorials will be open to students who do not live in the hostel.

To implement this project, FIDESCO needs to accomplish the following:
- start-up of the construction and equipment (furniture for rooms and studying classroom, kitchen) of the Student Hostel;
- investments for training (computers and satellite internet);
- to cover the costs of the volunteers.

The Nando Peretti Foundation has awarded a grant for this project. Two full-time-tutors will live in this hostel with the students. A married couple (volunteers) will visit the hostel regularly to assure a good following and to propose some activities to the students.

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