At our Vijana Primary School in Luberizi, the school year has ended with joy. Remember the school with the broken roof I wrote about at the beginning of last year? The students were learning in a very challenging environment. Thanks to an outside donor, the roof was replaced and the academic year ending now is their most successful in the history of the program's 4-year history. Several of our students tested with high scores--girls as well as boys. The Number 1 student in the school is a confident boy, Bisima, who speaks in the video provided here. Bisima proudly represented his school in an academic exam competition held in the capital of South Kivu, Bukavu. We are still waiting for his scores, but we are proud of him regardless.
Without this program, Bisima and our other top-scoring students would still be at home without an education. You, our donors, make this possible. Now Bisima and many more are at a crossroads. We are obliged to pay about $8 per student to take a mandatory exam to enter secondary school. Once there, we will need to pay $8 per month instead of $5, the primary school rate. Again we thank all our recurring donors because you give us the stability we need to plan for the future of our students. And again we ask others of you to consider a monthly recurring donation--as little as $10, plus the GlobalGiving fee of 15% would be great to include so it doesn't get taken out of our proceeds. Of course greater amounts would be welcomed!
On behalf of Bisima, all the other students, the school officials, and AMCAV, I say thank you. Please continue to share our project among your social media and other contacts. As project participants say over and over again in their references to GlobalGiving [donors], may you live a long life and not get tired of your support for this project.
It's been a rough ride in the Congo since our last report. In the last month, the government arranged to shut off all communications for socio-political reasons (see links). No Internet, e-mail, texting, or phone. Don't be misled by the "restoration" reported from Kinshasa on the far side of the country: in the east, they know irregular power and communications lines all too well. Neither Internet nor electricity are found in the rural areas of our three school communities.
The Cow Path Leads Here
Rwenena (Reh-NEHN-uh) is the most remote and volatile of these three communities. To get there, you must travel several miles on what appears to be little more than a grassy cow path, several miles off the main road, very close to the Burundian border. Rwenena is truly overlooked by the rest of the world - no other assistance comes their way. Although this program does what it can, they are in need of everything else, including health care, adequate food, clean water, income-generating activities, and education for more children. Despite all these needs, the village remains grateful to you, the GlobalGiving donors, for what this project does for their children. Everyone there knows that education is the key to a better life.
A Place To Sit
The Rwenena Primary School principal, Isaac, travels by scooter from his far-off home to the school; expenses eat up $30 of his $50-a-month salary, and he has a family to support. Until recently, he had no chair waiting for him at the school, and his desk was so unstable when I saw it, I thought it would topple over at the slightest touch. Thanks to an outside funder, we were able to acquire new furniture for our students, teachers, and administrators. Included is a new desk and chair for Isaac.
Military Escort for These Photos!
Getting the photos you see here (and others that have had technical glitches so are not yet available) from Rwenena was the result of a tremendous effort. Project Co-Leader Bernadette was concerned about her security traveling to Rwenena so was able to acquire an approved military escort for her trip.The group she found - along with the escorts - appears in the main photo. She reports that the escort joined the community in their gratitude for this project. Don't miss the photo that shows our friend Issac at his new table, sitting on his new chair.
Please Consider A Donation
School continues, and now, more than ever, we need your donations to cover costs. Consider donating as a gift, a tribute, or a repeat or recurring donation. Continued gratitude to our recurring donors!
As a follow-up to our last report, Iain Guest of The Advocacy Project has pledged to offer continuing consulting support not only to this education project, but to AMCAV in general. For this we are extremely grateful.
Thanks to each and every one of you for your caring support.
I am excited to share with you that Iain Guest, Founder and Executive Director of The Advocacy Project, recently donated his consulting services to our project, coordinating visits to both AMCAV in DRC and myself in the States. He negotiated a good working strategy for how to make our project stronger - not just paying the school fees each month but creating a solid infrastructure from which we can eventually expand to serve more of the students that hope to one day join our program (their famiies do not have the means to pay the modest school fees). We are contemplating best ways forward, which I will share with you as plans develop. In the meantime, know that the 130 children supported by this project continue to make progress in their studies this year thanks to your donations.
I want to give a special shout-out to our recurring donors, who I don't always get a chance to thank personally. Although we are grateful for any and all donations that may come our way, recurring donations allow us to plan ahead in a more predictable manner. Even $10 a month makes a sizable difference. I'd also like to remind you that you can start a fundraiser of any kind here on GlobalGiving for a variety of occasions and specialize this project as the recipient. To start your own, go to https://www.globalgiving.org/dy/v2/fundraiser-new/type or use mine: http://www.globalgiving.org/fundraisers/educate-130-children-of-drc-rape-victims-1/.
Last but not least, Giving Tuesday is coming up on Tuesday, Dec. 2, and as a Microsoft YouthSpark participant, our project is eligible for matching funds at 100% to be released at the following times:
Please try to make donations as close to these start times as possible, as matching funds run out quickly. Of course if you miss the matching funds, your donations are still welcome!
We send each of you gratitude and wish you a great holiday season and a happy, healthy 2015! You can reach me anytime at email@example.com.
Annette (with Bernadette and our 3 school communities)
The students, teachers, school officials, and parents are all thrilled that the fourth year of this program is now under way - we hope you are too. We have a lot to be thankful for. Because of you and your donations:
As the photos show, as the school year kicked off, the Congolese Radio (RTNC) was on hand to conduct interviews with parents, teachers, principals, and students, each of whom expressed gratitude for the program. Students held up signs expressing gratitude to you, the GlobalGiving donors. The impact of GlobalGiving is felt in the hearts and minds of everyone in the community!
Thank you all! Remember that school fees and tutoring fees must be paid every month for the kids' education to continue.
October 15 is GlobalGiving's next bonus day starting at 9 AM EST. All donations up to $1000 will be matched at 30% while funds last, so if you are inspired to donate and can remember, please give as close to that time as possible. Otherwise, if you're in danger of forgetting, give whenever the spirit moves you!
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.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.
Help raise money for this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page for this project.Start a Fundraiser