CREATING OPPORTUNITES FOR EDUCATION
The Redemptorists are committed to providing educational opportunities to the weakest and most vulnerable. This section tells the story of just two Redemptorist education initiatives, one example from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the second from Mozambique.
Lufuku School Redevelopment
The Redemptorist during 2012 are working to transform Lufuku Primary School, in the Bas-Congo Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Provision of a primary school education to students from 35 villages in a suitable and dignified school environment is our aim.
Challenges facing Lufuku School
Lufuku primary school opened in 1938 and is the only school in the region. It currently has 306 students. The school has a number of problems:
- The roof is made of straw and mud which means that students cannot attend when there is heavy rain;
- There is a mud floor;
- There are no doors or windows fitted to the building;
- The walls are made of very old bricks and mud mortar;
- There are no toilets or washbasins;
- There are no benches or tables for the students- they currently sit on the floor on old tree tunks and branches.
The Redemptorist Plan for 2012 is to:
- Redevelop the existing school two buildings from ground level including proper flooring, new brickwork, proper roofing and the installation of doors and windows in 4 classrooms;
- Installation of proper toilets and wash basins;( 6 toilets)
- Manufacture and installation of benches and tables for the students and teacher; ( 304 units);
Education Context in Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is located in Central Africa and has a population of 71 million people. It is one of the poorest countries in the world and ranks 168 out of 169 countries on the UN Human Development Index. After years of civil war and fighting with its neighbouring countries, the UN has been running a peace and stabilisation mission in the country since 1999.
The DRC faces immense challenges in delivering education services to all children of school age in the country. In a country where feeding children is the first priority and consumes the majority of household income, education can come a distant second. From the 1960s until the early 2000s, the Congolese public education budged declined from 7% of GDP and 25% of the national budget to 1% of GDP and 5% of the national budget, creating a fall of 96% in spending per pupil per year in primary and secondary schools. The predictable result is that only 30% of children of pre-primary age in nursery school ( almost all of them private and it is estimated that 4.6 million children (2.5 million girls) are out of school.
Where schools do exist, they are often in terrible condition with no water resources or electricity. Although primary education is supposed to be free parents in rural areas are forced to pay teachers salaries through monthly fees as the government does not contribute
- There is significant gender inequality in terms of access to education with girls on average only spending 6 years in school against 9 years on average for boys, and male literacy at 81% against female literacy of 54%;
- The primary school enrolment rate is 58%;
- The drop-out rate in the first year is 20% and only 29% of students complete six years of schooling
MUVAMBA Rural Mission, Mozambique
Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world and ranks at 172 out of 182 countries on the human Development index. With a population of 20 million, according to the Mozambican government, 56% of the population lives below the national poverty line; 63% of rural children live in absolute poverty and 34% of households are food insecure and face perpetual hunger.
Muvamba Mission is located 80km north of the district town of Massinga. The physical location called Muvamba Mission consists of a primary and secondary school, youth centre , nutrition centre and maternity ward. The site serves the communities living within a radius of 100km. The wider area of Muvamba is a rural area of 3500 km with a population of 51,000 people dispersed around fifty local communities. Illiteracy rates are in excess of 70% and in many communities the rate is over 90% for females.
The Redemptorist Muvamba mission is committed to an Education Programme involving:
- Promoting the importance of education at community and church meetings and as part of the youth leadership training especially the value of educating girls;
- Aligning the Water for All Programme with the Education for All programme as much as possible, so as to get the maximum benefit from both programmes;
- Construction of primary school facilities in rural areas including the construction of teachers housing, so that teachers are incentivised to teach at rural locations;
- Construction of Muvamba Secondary School;
- Running teacher training coursed for 130+ teachers each year to increase the quality of education in Muvamba
In 2012, the Redemporists are constructing three Classeooms in Chivacuene and a classroom in Macuacua.
The Redemptorist through a partnership with SERVE and the Asociacion para la Solidaridad are committing €27,000 to redevelop the Lufuku School Programme and €14,000 to build the classrooms at the Muvamba Mission.
The Redemptorists also support education programmes in Madagascar, Angola, South Africa, Kenya, Niger, Burkina-Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Nigeria.
The above images are from Redemptorist Education initiatives.