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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Construction of an inclusion school

Tanzania has some of the world’s most beautiful scenery, but it is also one of the poorest countries. in the world. Most people live from agriculture and produce only for their own needs, even though only 5 % of the land can be used regularly. Food is correspondingly rare and expensive. The education system too has major deficiencies. The rate of literacy is only just 70 %. Especially in rural areas there are many children who do not have a school nearby or whose parents prefer to keep them at home to work in the house or in the fields. But in the region of Iringa, in the centre of the country, an improvement is on the horizon.

The project in brief:

Under this project an inclusion school is being built in the town of Ilula. Like the kindergarten, the pre‑school and the secondary school, it will function according to the Montessori method. In addition to the school, two boarding houses will be built, one for girls and one for boys, so that pupils who live far away will not stay away from school because of the long walk.

The initiative for this project came from the parents. It is important to them that their children should receive a quality education above and beyond pre‑school. Therefore they took the initiative and asked our partner organisation, IOP Tanzania, to build a primary school. The fact that the idea came from the parents is a good sign; they know that education will have a decisive influence on their children’s later living conditions, and for this reason they are fully behind the project. Thus there is a good basis for a successful and long-lasting project.

Total project cost: (2017-2020): €514 800

80% of this amount will be provided by the Luxembourg Foreign Ministry. The remaining 20% (€102 960) will be covered by CSI together with the partner organisation.

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Help for Burundian refugee children

As a result of political unrest in their country, 80 000 Burundians have fled to Rwanda. Most of them are living in refugee camps along the border, but others have moved into town, where they themselves have to find somewhere to live, and also pay for medical care, food and their children’s education. However, the high prices in Rwanda make this impossible for most refugees, rendering them dependent on help in order to make ends meet. But they have not given up hope of soon being able to return home.

The project in brief:

Between 2017 and 2020, this project will enable 120 refugee children per year to attend a local kindergarten (primary school will subsequently be funded by another organisation). The fees (including lunch) and the cost of uniforms and school supplies will be covered by CSI. Where necessary, the children will also receive psychological support. This is important, as some children have been traumatised by terrible experiences or the death of a parent, which of course makes the learning process harder.

Our aim with this project is not just to allow the children to go to kindergarten. We also want to give their parents some freedom, so that they can get a job. In the many cases where a mother or father is bringing up their children alone, e.g. because their partner is sick, dead, still in Burundi or has been kidnapped by Burundian government soldiers, it is particularly important that the children are looked after during the day, so that the remaining parent can earn a living.

Total project cost (2017-2020): €220 011

80% of this amount will be provided by the Luxembourg Foreign Ministry. The remaining 20% (€44 002,20) will be covered by CSI together with the partner organisation.

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Access to education for internally displaced children

The project in brief:                                                

Under this project 1 021 internally displaced children receive a quality education. Many of them only learned to read and write just before they had to leave their homes, and now they risk forgetting what they learned if they do not go to school again for a long time.

The project participants will have half their school fees paid for them by the project. The idea is for the other half to be paid by their parents, so as to directly involve them in the project.

All children are provided with all the necessary school materials. Nevertheless, there are still those (especially girls) who drop out of school after a short time. In such cases our local partner organisation JRS contacts the parents to make them aware of the importance of education, and of equal rights for girls and boys.  Older pupils are also sensitised to certain dangers of everyday life, such as drugs and AIDS.

In order to ensure a good standard of education, 150 teachers regularly attend in-service training and are provided with the necessary teaching materials.

Total project cost: (2017-2020): €297 902

80% of this amount will be provided by the Luxembourg Foreign Ministry. The remaining 20% (€ 59 580,40) will be covered by CSI together with the partner organisation.

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