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
We have just finished another school year at our primary school. This year 345 children completed their courses in a traditional Congolese curriculum. Their favorite subjects were Algebra and French, although some ofthe older children also want to learn English.
This summer the students will spend their time working to raise crops, fishing, and celebrating with the traditional sunset dance.
In September, forty-two of our recent graduates will go on to enroll at the selective Ecole Secondaire Kashofu on Idjwi island. This prestigious school focuses on biochemistry and teaching.
Our little school, with six teachers, is expecting to enroll as many at 500 primary school students in the fall. We have given the Idjwi Island Education Fund a "wish list" of supplies for school in September. We have asked for slate writing boards for the younger students, pens, pencils, notebooks, and uniforms.
We are grateful for the support that the Idjwi Island Education Fund is providing while they are working to build us a new school.
This photograph shows the beautiful site donated by our founding board member, Them Nyamunongo, where the Idjwi Island Education Fund will be constructing a new primary school for hundreds of children. Over the past few months, we have continued with our fact-finding and research efforts in connection with the school project, including interviewing development professionals who are experienced with grass-roots development projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo and neighboring countries.
Using the information that we have gathered, including detailed budget information from other school projects in the region, we are refining our budget and improving our plans for the school. For this process we have enlisted the help of Dr. Abed Benzina, who has volunteered to serve as a design and construction consultant for the project. Dr. Benzina, an architect who was trained in Africa and the United States, has more than 20 years of experience in Architecture and building construction in the United States and overseas. A native French speaker, he has particular expertise in the efficiency of construction cost and methods.
Given the nature of this project, we feel that Dr. Benzina’s involvement will be particularly helpful in the design and construction process. Some construction materials, such as bricks, are resources indigenous to Idjwi Island, but other supplies and materials, such as mortar and windows will need to be purchased in Goma and delivered to Idjwi Island by boat. In order to reduce transport, and to further support the local community, the school project will use as much of the indigenous products that we can.
We will have announcements about upcoming events in the next few weeks.
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