January 14, 2019

"Our aim is to provide access to schooling for vulnerable children in DRC military camp"

3.5 million children of primary school age are not in school in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Photo credit: UNHCR

Sylvette Balungwe

Democratic Republic of Congo

A Global Youth Ambassador explains that without education the children are exposed to discrimination and other risks.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, vulnerable children are in a precarious situation due to the absence of education, which is of paramount importance to their development. 

We therefore proposed the establishment of an educational centre or a school in the Katindo camp. 

This will allow children to access education while restricting certain criminal acts which some children are exposed to, such as drug consumption (an alcoholic beverage called SAPILO, smoking, hemp etc) or prostitution. 

The future of these vulnerable children will be uncertain, unless they receive educational support. 

The establishment of an education centre in the camp is a very important project in the sense that it would be the first initiative implemented locally in relation to vulnerable children. 

The managers of the centre could offer educational guidance, organise primary and secondary education and offer training.

The overall objective of the project is to promote and facilitate the access to schooling of vulnerable children in Katindo military camp in Goma and by doing so we will combat discrimination against disadvantaged children there.

School environments must be safe and conducive to learning for children

Photo credit: Julien Harneis

At the beginning of the project, we identified 468 vulnerable children in need of schooling in the Katindo camp. 

We found one site suitable for the construction of the school and - thanks to the good cooperation of the 8th Military Region of the Armed Forces of the DR Congo - it is possible to have six classrooms, one bureau of school management, two bathrooms, cutting, sewing and knitting facilities, a space for cooking lunch for schoolchildren and sanitary latrines with 10 doors for pupils. 49 people were recruited to deliver the project.

In order to deliver the project efficiently, collaboration with the administrative authorities (Division of Social Affairs, Division for Development, service planning and habitat), humanitarian NGOs and local leaders was essential. 

We organised seminars with the team responsible for the project, consulted several experts and engaged with local authorities and leaders, heads of schools and teachers as well as partner organisations such as UNICEF, Search For CommonGround, the European Union, World Vision, World Food Program, Child Parliament/Goma, UJADP/ERICA Goma, CIVILO-COOPERATION and others.

The main recommendation that was made at the end of the project included acquiring funds for building a room so that activities could commence as soon as possible for 268 identified children between three and 17 years old. 

We are a children's charity committed to ending the global education crisis and unleashing the potential of the next generation.

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