Our extraordinary middle schooler Claudine (see report of 4 Feb 2013) has had a successful year despite personal trauma a year ago. As many victims of sexual violence do, her mother departed from her family to avoid bringing shame on her children; earlier their home was burned and they relocated from one of our school communities to another. Fortunately Claudine has had generous people in her life who arranged to relocate her to the nearest town to attend a better school there. She showed that much promise, and she was at that much risk. After returning to her village to stay with her grandmother over the summer, Claudine - still a student of this project - will return to her town school, advancing to the third year of secondary school. She writes (translated from French):
"I was born into a poor family without a father and of a mother driven away from the locality of Rwenena. Being that I am an offspring of violence [rape], I am without a person of goodwill who can support my studies in my family.
"I say thank you to all the people of good will that support vulnerable children like me for the advancement of their education in DRC. Thanks to the education you have provided to me, I will be one of the great helpful women of society and I will never forget to support the children in the same category as myself."
On Wednesday, July 16, GlobalGiving will be matching this project's donations 50% beginning at 9:00 AM Eastern time. We are gearing up for the fall (needing to allow 2 months from fundraising to delivery to the project) so please consider a generous donation. Thank you for your support of this important project. Claudine's and others' lives would not be the same without it.
You may recall from a previous report that a storm had destroyed the roof over 5 of the classrooms at our Vijana Primary School in Luberizi. Please watch the video included in the link on this page, in which a mother (Miriam) explains their ordeals. Make sure the "cc" icon is enabled so you can read the translation captioning. Her thanks to "Mama Annette" means thanks to you, the GlobalGiving donors. Mama Annette is simply the conduit between students and donors.
Fortunately funding came through and the roof has been successfully repaired. The kids have experienced much hardship during this academic year, but they are always dedicated to their work. Your donations have allowed school - and after-school tutorials for struggling students - to continue. I am happy to report that two GlobalGiving microprojects - for shoes with socks and for backpacks - have been funded. Don't miss the photo on this page of the shoe and sock distribution (backpack funding came later) with the GlobalGiving sign. These shoes were so desperately needed!
Our other 2 school communities also are doing well.
Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, June 25, at noon EDT. If you donate as little as $10 at this time (preferably more), your donation will be doubled thanks to Microsoft YouthSpark (credit cards only). Matching funds run out quickly, so the sooner to noon you donate, the better chance we have of successfully attaining the match.
Your caring and your dollars mean so much to everyone involved. On their behalf, I thank you.
Thanks to your donations, our supplemental instruction program is going very well and students are making good progress. Besides reviewing material from their regular classes that they might not have fully understood the first time, our students are getting well acquainted with their new math kits provided by a GlobalGiving microproject. They are also using the notebooks and pencils provided in part by GlobalGiving donors to practice creating circles with their compass, angles with their protractor, and measurements with their ruler. Not only are the students happy to have the extra clarifying instruction, the teacher is happy to be paid a modest supplementary salary and the parents are full of pride. The program serves as confirmation to all - especially the mothers, who have experienced so much hardship - that they are valued by generous, caring people far away, which in turn serves to promote value in their own community.
A reminder that this program is ongoing, which means donations are always needed to keep up payments for school fees and supplemental instruction. We remain the only project supporting our otherwise-forgotten school communities. Everyone there - school officials, teachers, parents, and students - remain grateful for your recognition of them. I am available for your questions, concerns, and partnerships such as hosting house parties (including via Skype) featuring African jewelry and crafts to benefit the project at email@example.com.
Looking for something else to fund after the next donation you may make to this project? Consider our current microproject, "Provide Backpacks for 45 Kids in DR Congo." A search of "backpacks 45 Congo" on GlobalGiving.org will bring it up. This project would provide a container to proudly carry all their academic supplies. Thanks for your consideration.
With gratitude from us all for your life-changing donations,
Annette, Bernadette, and the primary school communities of Luberizi and Rwenena
This has definitely been a time of transition at our schools, especially at the Vijana Primary School in Luberizi. As reported last month, a storm tore the roof off of 4 of the classrooms. Attempts at facilitation with government authorities have fallen flat, which is not surprising. An appeal has also been made to the newly installed bishop, but we predict it will be a long wait before he visits and inspects the damage to the school. Fortunately we have procured U.S. funding for repair from an outside source, leaving GlobalGiving funds intact to continue to pay for tuition and our tutoring program, which remains successful. Classes continue to meet at Luberizi, and when it rains, the students share space with kids in the covered classrooms. Naturally, this disrupts learning. We don't know at this time how long the repair will take once the funds reach them. We are pleased that parents have come through with their pledge to provide used roofing shingles for the effort.
In better news, recently we procured funding - in part from a GlobalGiving microproject - to provide our students with geometrical math kits (including measuring tools) and composition books. This acquisition marks a huge leap in the children's education. Math is no longer limited to learning with 1 box of bottle caps for arithmetic, and chalk for solving equations at the front of the room by only a few students. We are seeking additional funding through a new GlobalGiving microproject, which we expect to be posted soon and which will benefit the struggling students of Luberizi: Backpacks to hold their new belongings and which they can bring home for additional studying (search "backpacks 45 kids DR Congo"). Later we may also have a second microproject for shoes for the Luberizi kids (search "shoes 45 kids DR Congo"). As always, you can continue to reach me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember that you can pledge regular support to this project by becoming a recurring donor here on GlobalGiving. $20 per month, for example, is less than a dollar a day. Without our core needs met - ongoing funding for tuition and tutoring for all 130 chldren - nothing else would be possible. We have come such a long way since we brought these stigmatized children out from the homes where they stayed and brought them to school for the first time. You can also make a gift donation to honor a friend or loved one. And to share your support for this project, you can start your own fundraising campaign: Just click the green "fundraiser" button underneath the large orange "donate" button on the project page. Thanks to all for your support.
I am sorry to report that a recent storm destroyed the roof over 4 of the classrooms at our Vijana Primary School in Luberizi. This is the same school profiled in our last report, which featured a young boy giving thanks for you, the donors of GlobalGiving. Classes are continuing to be held despite heat and even rain. AMCAV is facilitating community meetings of parents and school, government, and church authorities to see how much they can all pitch in to get the job done. The parents will be contributing used roof panels. The preliminary estimate is $2,220, which includes new panels, so the final cost should be cheaper with the used panels. In the meantime, since our students comprise a substantial percentage of the school and since infrastructure in DR Congo is poor with the country earning the #2 slot in the 2013 Failed States report, we believe it is right that emergency funding from this project be applied. Please pitch in what you can. If we raise enough, and again in collaboration with the community, we will also explore costs to repair a longstanding roof leak at our Rwenena school. Otherwise funds will be used to pay tuition fees and maintain our new supplemental learning program. Thank you for your consideration.
Thanks to your donations, the supplemental learning program continues to be successful. We have therefore moved past the pilot stage and approved its implementation at another school of this project, Rwenena Primary School. They are very excited to begin.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me at email@example.com.
Best wishes to all of you for a joyous holiday season and a healthy and happy 2014.
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Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Congo, Democratic Republic of the