We are packing our bags for Idjwi Island! In two weeks, members of our leadership team will travel from Washington, D.C. to the Democratic Republic of Congo to visit with students at the current school and finalize preparations to break ground to begin construction of the New EP Buhumba. This is a very exciting time for us at The Idjwi Island Education Fund! Our team will meet with community leaders, oversee the progress of the Bustani Project (our sustainable garden), and visit with friends and supporters in Buhumba Village.
While in DRC, our leadership will also meet with project friends in Goma who are helping us to hire a project manager to locally manage this phase of the New EP Buhumba construction. We are expecting to start construction in mid-2014. Phase 1 is to assemble materials and complete construction of the stone foundation.
We appreciate the great support from our friends and donors who have made it possible for us to plan to start construction of the new school. Please stay tuned for more updates from the field about our upcoming activities.
Last month, students, teachers, community leaders, and representatives of the Idjwi Island Education Fund joined together to launch a sustainable garden near the site of the new school. This garden project will provide the students with valuable training in sustainable farming techniques under the supervision of a trained agronomist. This work training is part of their required curriculum and further supports the students in the current, practical application of what is the Island's main economic engine. The Fund provided the school with the land needed, as well as a full range of supplies such as rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows, watering cans, seeds, and rubber boots. The soil has been carefully prepared to increase the potential yield, and the first crop, which includes carrots, tomatoes, leeks and yams, has been planted. The harvest will be used to support the construction of the new school.
The new sustainable garden is located at the site where the new school will be constructed. At the present time, the older students are attending school at a temporary structure at this location, while the younger students continue to attend the existing school a few kilometers away.
Greetings from Idjwi Island!
The students had a successful conclusion to their school year. 354 students attended EP Buhumba during the 2012-2013 school year. Thirty-six of the thirty-nine sixth graders passed their exams and will have an opportunity to move on to secondary school this fall. The school director, Mr. Kusheme Klish Janda, and the students expressed appreciation for the support provided by the Idjwi Island Education Fund, which included new chalkboards, backpacks, notebooks, pens, and other supplies. The new school year will begin on September 2, 2013.
In the coming weeks, the older students will be breaking ground on a sustainable garden project adjacent to the site where we will be building a new school. We will provide leadership and hands-on training for the students to cultivate their own vegetable garden. The students will learn proper techniques to prepare the soil, plant the crops (including corn, tomatoes, beans, and leeks), and harvest the crops. We will construct a farmstand at the school for the children to sell harvested product to sustain the garden and to support the construction of the new school.
We will have many exciting developments to announce regarding the school project over the next few months. We appreciate your continued interest in this project and the support for the deserving students in Buhumba Village.
Friends and Supporters -
We are pleased to share a copy of the Idjwi Island Education Funds' 2012 Annual Report. Our highlights for 2012 include:
We appreciate the contributions we received through volunteer efforts and donations during 2012. We look forward to more exciting developments during 2013.
This Swahili expression means "Peace is a way to love and understanding."
It has been an eventful few months for the Idjwi Island Education Fund. In addition to our primary goal of building a new school for the students in Buhumba Village, we have continued to provide ongoing assistance to the existing school. In September we launched five "micro projects" through the Give for Youth initiative with GlobalGiving and Microsoft and have been working hard to meet our goals. These micro projects were designed to provide immediate support for students at the current school. Through this ongoing campaign and our recent direct efforts, two of the micro projects have been fully funded. We continue our efforts to fund the other micro projects, as well as to move forward toward the new school.
The two fully funded micro projects enabled us to order and purchase new chalkboards and school supplies (sourced locally in Goma) for the kids on Idjwi Island. The funding also provided tuition assistance for older students to complete their sixth grade year.
Last month, our volunteers traveled by boat from Goma to deliver the supplies to the school in Buhumba Village. They were welcomed at a ceremony attended by hundreds of students, their parents, teachers, and community leaders, all of whom expressed their gratitude for our support for the school.
While our volunteers were on Idjwi, rebel forces seized the regional Capitol, Goma. Boat travel was suspended to Goma and our volunteers remained on Idjwi for several days. Ultimately, our volunteers were able to return by taking a longer, indirect route back home to Goma. There are reports that the rebels have recently left Goma, but the situation the Eastern DRC and the Kivu province remains unstable.
Amani Ni Njia Ya Mapenzi Na Ufahamiano
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