Strengthening the Educational Level of the Population of Kondo-Tshumbe

Project location: CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC, East Kasai
Project start date: September 2010 - Project end date: August 2011
Project number: 2010-23
Beneficiary: American Initiatives for Social Development Foundation, inc.

The effects of the socio-political situation of the last decades in DRC explain the rapid decline in per capita income, social services and living conditions which are deteriorated seriously. The social indicators of the DRC are currently the worst in Africa.

The access to public education, due to its fee-paying status, is limited for underprivileged families: children from poor homes are excluded from the system. This is such a serious matter that if the issue of equal access to schooling is not addressed, it will not be possible to undertake the other necessary educational reforms effectively.

Sankuru is one of the most disadvantaged provinces in the country. Situated in the centre of the DRC, there is no asphalted road linking it to neighboring towns, and the only safe way to the reach the capital is by plane. The few schools which the region used to have were destroyed during the war, and there is not a single library or literacy centre in the entire area.

The community of Kondo-Tshumbe, situated 80 km. from Lodja, has 61,353 inhabitants, most of whom are school-age children and adolescents, and only two schools, one at each end of the locality. Children from other parts of the community are forced to walk between 7 and 10 km. to get to school, a daily round trip of 14- 20 km. undertaken by very young children, who often make the journey alone. Many girls, given the potential threat of being assaulted along the way, choose not to attend school.

 

In 2006, a private non-governmental initiative involving various inhabitants of the Kondo-Tshumbe community, parents and minor local authorities (donation of land) decided to respond to this situation by building a small provisional school.
With voluntary labour and materials collected from the forest, such as wood and mud, a makeshift school was built, where more than 300 children have been schooled since 2006.

However, the structure of the school is fragile and perishable, and during the rainy season it suffers serious damage which can only be repaired if the school is closed, thus interfering with the pupils' education. Moreover, the school is not equipped with the appropriate furniture, given that no chairs, desks or blackboards were ever installed. The school has no access to running water and cannot afford to buy books and other basic teaching materials.
Therefore, the fundamental goal of this project is to build a school with solid and non-perishable materials in order to guarantee the continuity of classes and the safety of pupils. The school will also be equipped with the appropriate chairs, desks and blackboards, in order to create a comfortable environment conducive to study.
The new school will have the capacity to cater for the 335 pupils who currently attend the provisional school. In the long term, the aim is to start up a literacy program for women in the community, taking advantage of the school facilities.
The objective of this project is the improvement of the educational level of the population of Kondo-Tshumbe. More specifically: the improvement of access to schooling and the standard of teaching offered to children in the rural area of Kondo Tshumbe.
By the end of the project there will be 12 classrooms equipped with 335 wooden chairs and desks, 2 play rooms and 1 computer room built with non-perishable materials. Therefore the school will have been built and equipped to cater for 335 pupils.

The organization would like to remark the importance of the community commitment with the project and the fact that it was born from them, from the necessity and the good forward-looking for their own children. This can be an example for more small communities in the surrounding area and a real efficient solution to the necessity of education so badly managed in this country on the past years.

General Objective: Improvement of the educational level of the population of Kondo-Tshumbe.
Specific Objective: Improvement of access to schooling and the standard of teaching offered to children in the rural area of Kondo Tshumbe.
Outcome 1. By the end of the project, 12 classrooms, 2 play rooms and 1 computer room will have been built with non-perishable materials.
Outcome 2. By the end of the project, the classrooms will have been equipped with 335 wooden chairs and desks.
Outcome 3. By the end of the project, the school will have been built and equipped to cater for 350 pupils.


 American Initiatives for Social Development Foundation, inc.
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