Access to education and training for disadvantaged children

In the province of South Kivu, in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), attending school is absolute luxury. More than a third of the population have never been to school at all, and the drop-out rate is high. Even though the quality of teaching is poor, the greatest wish of many children is to be able to go to school. But in most cases their family cannot afford it. Sometimes poverty is so devastating that parents have to send their still under-age children out to fend for themselves in the world. These children then have no choice but to live on the streets and take physically strenuous or even dangerous jobs to keep their heads above water. It is not surprising that they come into contact with alcohol and drugs, and eventually descend into criminality. What is needed, in order to put a permanent end to this vicious circle of poverty and illiteracy, is education.

The project in brief:

CSI Lëtzebuerg and the Don Bosco Salesians have started a project which will allow children and adolescents aged between 7 and 18 to obtain a basic education and also learn a trade.

As many young people are barely able to read, write or do sums (if at all), the aim of the project is not just to provide vocational training, but also specifically to teach them to read and write and help them to acquire basic skills. The project participants first spend several months on intensive courses in various subjects. Only later do they move on to vocational training.

Not only are teaching and training materials provided by the project; six classrooms are also being renovated and refurbished, 12 toilets built, and the vocational school’s joinery department extended. Last but not least, existing machines used for vocational training are being repaired, and some new machines acquired.

In order to ensure the project’s sustainability and success, action is taken to make participants and their families more aware of the importance of education and training.

Total project cost (2017-2020): €242 321.48

80% of this amount will be provided by the Luxembourg Foreign Ministry. The remaining 20% (€ 48 464.28) covered by CSI together with the partner organisation.

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