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Improve Education for 400 Children on Idjwi Island

by Idjwi Island Education Fund
Improve Education for 400 Children on Idjwi Island
Improve Education for 400 Children on Idjwi Island
Improve Education for 400 Children on Idjwi Island
Improve Education for 400 Children on Idjwi Island
Improve Education for 400 Children on Idjwi Island
Improve Education for 400 Children on Idjwi Island

Greetings from Idjwi Island!!!

The kids are thrilled to observe the construction of the new administrative building at the primary school in Buhumba Village. This new building also will be the home to our health care program, which provides regular check ups from our health care team.  Construction should be finished within a few days, and will complete our initial construction plans with the classroom building, latrines, and the administrative building.  We still have big plans to support the growing student population and the school staff in the Buhumba Community.

Please join us on #GivingTuesday to support these delightful children with a donation, which will be matched as part of the #GivingTuesday campaign.

As always, we are grateful for our many donors who have been so generous in supporting the children on Idjwi Island.

Construction is nearly complete
Construction is nearly complete
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Greetings from Buhumba Village in Idjwi Island!   We are pleased to report that the kids have returned to school with precautions in place to provide protection from the coronavirus. 

Idjwi Island has been fortunate in that, to date, there have not been recorded cases of the coronavirus.  This may be one benefit of being able to limit transportation to and from the island.  In late August, the sixth grade students took their final year exams.

The elementary school students returned to class in October.  The Idjwi Island Education Fund is supporting the efforts of the Buhumba primary school to protect the children and their families during this return to school.  The fund is providing hundreds of masks for the children and staff at the school. These masks are being made by the island's vibrant community of tailors.  In addition, the well water that we brought to the school in 2019 allows for regular hand washing.  The large windows in the school can be opened to provide good ventilation.

We continue to work to provide regular access to health care for the children.  Malaria, malnutrition, and neglected tropical diseases continue to be a challenge.  Earlier this month, our health care team, led by a local nurse, visited the school to conduct tests and provide medicines.  

Finally, we are thrilled to report that we have started construction of the administrative building at the school.  This building will support our health care program with dedicated space for the clinic and protected storage for medicines.  In light of the coronavirus, we have enhanced the project with an expanded waiting area that will allow for physical distancing.  

Please stay tuned for more news about the new construction, facilities, and programs that will support the children at the school!

Sixth grade students prior to their exams
Sixth grade students prior to their exams
A tailor on Idjwi Island
A tailor on Idjwi Island
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While we are happy to report that no cases of Coronavirus have been found on Idjwi Island, all schools, including EP Buhumba, are closed until the fall as directed by the Congolese government.  The Idjwi Island Education Fund is pleased to be able to continue to support the school and the children during this crisis.

Last summer, we were excited to complete a major project to bring fresh water to the school for drinking and hand washing.  As we know, hand hygiene is essential to combat the spread of disease and to protect the health of our children; we are continuing to send the necessary soap to the water station.  In addition, we want to be certain the children are receiving proper nutrition during this crisis and we are distributing food such as beans, biscuits, rice, salt, etc.

In order to support at home learning for the children, the teachers of EP Buhumba have been asked to prepare and submit radio lessons for broadcast on the local radio station.  The teachers plan to have lessons ready by summer.  We will be fundraising not only to pay teachers, but also for radio airtime.

As soon as we can safely bring workers to Idjwi Island, we plan to begin construction on a new building to serve as the administration building and the center for the health program.  We will also continue work with our global medical team to conduct annual testing for malaria and deworming.

We appreciate the support of our many generous donors who continue to improve the lives of over 400 primary school children on Idjwi Island.

Hand washing station at school
Hand washing station at school
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This is an exciting time on Idjwi Island!  This summer, the Idjwi Island Education Fund completed a major project to bring fresh water to the school for drinking and hand washing. At the beginning of school this fall, our medical team -- consisting of a global health pediatrician, local medical student, and local support staff -- spent several days at the school conducting annual testing, malaria detection and treatment, and deworming.  While we are excited with these developments at the school, there is more work to be done.

In 2020, we plan to complete the construction of a new building at the school to serve as the administration building and the home of the health program.  In addition to this capital project, we are working to develop a regular health program with a local medical team to address the substantial needs of the children.

More than 400 primary school kids on Idjwi Island count on our organization for these programs.

We greatly appreciate the support of our many generous donors.  Please consider making a donation on Giving Tuesday, December 3, when donations will be matched through Global Giving.

Medical tests in the community
Medical tests in the community
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We have more exciting news this summer from EP Buhumba on Idjwi Island!  For the first time ever, our more than 400 students have running water at school to drink and wash their hands!  As the school year begins, this new resource at the school should pay immediate dividends with improved hygiene and a reduction in illness. 

Last month, members of our leadership team and local representatives oversaw a three week construction project that brought water nearly two kilometers from a nearby well to the primary school.  A total of 17 workers, including 8 from idjwi Island, completed the project.  As the sinks were installed between the classroom building and the latrines, the students will have a convenient place to wash hands after they take a bathroom break.

Improved water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is a critical element in preventing neglected tropical diseases such as diarrheal illness and schistosomiasis. For instance, studies have shown that improved sanitation can reduce schistosomiasis by as much as 75%. The water supply is one part of a program to improve health, hygiene, and learning at the school. This month, our medical team will be making another visit to the school to test and treat children, and will provide further instruction on hygiene and disease prevention.

Girl Scout Troop 4065 of Washington DC provided substantial support toward making this water project possible. The Idjwi Island Education Fund is truly grateful for community partnerships such as these who continue to make our programs possible. 

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Organization Information

Idjwi Island Education Fund

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Project Leader:
David Folds
Washington , DC United States
$84,108 raised of $125,000 goal
569 donations
$40,892 to go
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