This project will provide college scholarships to top students from the village of Rwenena, DR Congo. It is a continuation of "Educate 60+ Vulnerable Children in DR Congo." As a first step in a fresh approach, we will provide academic and living expenses for Rwenena-born Claudine. She has already completed the first of 3-4-years in a nursing program in the nearby nation of Burundi. Some of the village's secondary school students are motivated to follow Claudine into the medical profession.
Trained healthcare professionals are scarce in many African communities - more so in rural areas like Rwenena. Life expectancies in DR Congo are short; maternal and childhood death rates are among the highest in the world. In Rwenena, two organizations in the last 30 years have each built a clinic. One is permanently closed, while the other opens sporadically due in part to a shortage of regional nurses. Claudine's family remains vulnerable and has no disposable income to send her to college.
Claudine's clinical training is held at a teaching hospital that serves 40,000 patients from surrounding rural areas. This setting is tailor-made for her dream of serving rural villages like Rwenena as a nurse. As importantly, the secondary school education services we have offered are inspiring a new generation of youth determined to break the cycle of poverty their village has known for generations. Vencianne (profiled earlier) is among the first to proclaim her resolve to become a doctor.
Claudine's training will offset a deficit of clinical professionals. At a recent General Assembly, village leaders referred to her as bringing a new and positive distinction to the community. We cannot predict how many medical professionals Rwenena can grow. But upon graduation with a nursing diploma, Claudine will have demonstrated that odds can be beaten, the cycle of poverty can be broken, and once-vulnerable people can contribute to healing and success of their communities and beyond.