Our work in the DRC: Part One

February 12, 2018

Providing a future for children born of rape

In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), heading up WIN DRC are our leaders Claudaline and Desire. Through them, World In Need are changing lives in many ways.

School

This is for children who otherwise would not be able to afford to go to school. They are orphans, or children who were born of rape, whose mothers are destitute. If these children do not go to school, their futures will be bleak. Without an education, they will have no opportunity to learn all they need to find jobs that pay enough to lift themselves out of poverty. They are at great risk of becoming lawless, bandits, or even rapists. Through education, we sow seeds of hope into their lives.

Children attend school while the building work goes on around them

Currently, there are 252 children, aged from 5 to 16 years. The primary school caters for children from 5 to 14 years of age, but we want to ensure that the children complete their education. Therefore, we are expanding to include a secondary school.

We have 16 teachers, and the standard is excellent. For the past two years, our pass rate for the national primary school exams has been 100%. However, if we are to continue to do this, we must raise the funds to pay the teachers. This is not easy because we do not charge the children to attend school. The teachers accept a wage of just US $50 per month, but even that stretches the budget. We are hoping to raise funds to pay at least part of these wages each month, to ease the burden on Claudaline and Desire.

The school still needs a lot of construction work. There are no doors in the frames, and no glass in the windows. The walls need improving and more classrooms must be built. We have built latrines with running water, ensuring the children’s comfort and health. We also need desks.

Many children at the school are malnourished, to the point where they collapse so the school hopes to implement a daily feeding programme. At present, we provide porridge once a day, but can only afford to feed each child once a week. The feeding programme will ensure that malnutrition becomes a thing of the past for our students.

In the last few months, two students at the school died because their families could not afford to pay for medical treatment for them. Now, once a week, we pay for a nurse to come to the school and examine the children. As well as malnourishment, the children suffer from malaria, worms, typhoid, diarrhoea, respiratory illnesses, and skin lesions, amongst other things. The nurse diagnoses the problems and sources the medication, which the school pays for. If funds are low, Desire and Claudaline pay for it themselves, often leaving their own family short of essentials to do so.

In the future we hope to:

  • Expand the school to cater for all secondary school years so the children can complete their education
  • Find the funds to pay our teachers so they don’t have to leave us and go elsewhere to earn a living
  • Put windows and doors into the school to increase the children’s comfort, as well as constructing more buildings and improving existing ones.
  • We also need more desks and school supplies.
  • Implement a feeding programme so that no child is endangered through malnutrition.
  • Pay for medical care for all students who need it.

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