For the marginalized and remote village of Rwenena (Ruh-NAWN-ah), eastern DRC, this "Rwenena Kids" program of SAFECO currently provides tuition, uniforms, shoes, and school supplies for up to 90 students. Our literacy, numeracy, and human rights training program for mothers has opened up vocational opportunities. Their children are more successful in school because parents are prioritizing time and support for home study.
In DRC, 1 of 4 children never attend primary school. Only 60% complete this level - 30% for girls because educating boys takes priority. Income generation for paying school fees has been rare. Vulnerable children need extra support because many of them are rejected, abandoned, or stigmatized due to social status, ethnic origin, gender, physical disabilities, and more. Rwenena is a community that has held ethnic-based prejudices leading to conflict and needs healing and reconciliation.
Our core education program provides schooling for up to 90 vulnerable children and youth. Our training for mothers in literacy, numeracy, and human rights not only boosts children's success rates in the classroom, it also provides a newfound sense of empowerment in a supportive environment. Whole-community sensitization sessions demonstrate acceptance of all people, including women and girls and those with diverse ethnicities, abilities, and social statuses.
Students gain confidence and improve their scores in school. Our first college student is an important role model for others, especially girls. Through her study of health sciences, she is preparing to give back and serve small rural communities like Rwenena. With literacy training, mothers are better positioned to begin income-generating activities. They also develop into stronger role models for their children.