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.