Bringing Education to a Rural Area

In 2010, Espoir Congo built the first primary school in Kikimi village, with two large classrooms, school office, dispensary and outside terrace. In 2012 a third classroom was constructed, enabling the school to operate as a complete 6 grade primary school, serving over 200 orphaned and underprivileged children. (watch the video: Espoir Congo Presentation--Part I)

Before Espoir Congo built a primary school, the orphaned children were forced to study in very precarious conditions at the local “school” (see pics below).

In a country where it rains 9 months out of the year, how can children study when their school only has palms for a roof?

Former learning conditions in Kikimi

Former learning conditions in Kikimi

Former school office

Former school office

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

putting up the doors and windows

 At the time, our main action was to distribute food packages and other donated goods to the orphans. Another organization had started building a foundation for a school, but we didn't have the means to complete it. But our God is a God of miracles, and He is also the God of the fatherless and the widows. He put it on the heart of a wonderful Christian business woman in Kinshasa to help. She introduced us to the Director of a bank, who ended up donating the funding for the building of the school! We have since become partners and she is now financing the building of a training center for women.

Putting up the roof

In 2010, Espoir Congo completed the first primary school building, including an outside terrace. Here are photos of our new school in its final completion stages. It’s hard to describe the difficulties along the way, transporting materials so far into the bush with only crumbling sand in place of roads, trucks getting stuck or breaking down on the way. Then having to fetch water half a km down a steep hill and carrying it back up in order to mix cement. Three times we had to find new workers. The next challenge was to complete the building before the start of the rainy season. But finally, the school was completed, and this was to become by far the grandest structure in the village.

Clotilde and Gino at the school inauguration

Clotilde and Gino at the school inauguration

Clotilde and pupil

Clotilde and pupil

This set the beginning of a series of miracles, so much so that our School Director, Theo decided to name the school "La Moutarde", referring to Jesus' promise that if we had faith as a grain of mustard seed, it could remove mountains. 

New school kits donated by cellphone company

New school kits donated by cellphone company

Distribution of School Kits

Distribution of School Kits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A local cellphone company donated all the needed desks, including 100 school kits for the children.

French Curriculum

French Curriculum

French Curriculum

French Curriculum

Through a Belgian initiative and the World bank, we were able to collect all the needed manuals for French and Math. Other necessary equipment was donated including desks, shelves, notebooks, uniforms and blackboards. Interviews and an aptitude test were used for recruiting primary school teachers. By September 2011, the school officially opened its doors.  Happy First Graders

Back to school

Back to school

Class in session

Class in session

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All of our orphans who were of primary school age could finally receive free education, and the village children were asked for a small contribution to help cover the teachers’ salaries.

Clotilde teaching Bible verses to the kids

Clotilde teaching Bible verses to the kids

Teaching French

Teaching French

Completed School Building

Completed School Building

 

So happy to learn!

So happy to learn!

We started with 4 classes, however God saw the need and performed the next set of miracles. An interested fellow contacted us via our webpage, so we started communicating. One thing led to another, and not only did he give us a large enough donation to cover the expenses of the running of the school for the first year, but he recommended us to a Foundation who ended up financing the building of a 3rd classroom and the setting up of cisterns to collect rain water.

 

Adding a third classroom in 2012

Adding a third classroom in 2012

 

 

Our Primary School in Kikimi

Our now completed Primary School in Kikimi with 3rd classroom added and water cisterns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our class of second graders

Our class of second graders 

Inauguration of the 3rd classroom, named after our deceased daughter Natalie

Inauguration of the 3rd classroom, named after our deceased daughter Natalie 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bank helped again with the building of a sanitary block, and a training centre for vulnerable women is now being built, thanks again to Patricia, our very first benefactor. (There, women will learn tailoring and hair-dressing/cosmetology, and the second storey will have a library and an IT room for computer literacy).

Roll Call

Roll Call

Brand new sink in our tiled sanitary block

Brand new sink in our tiled sanitary block

Teachers' manuals

Teachers' manuals

Clotilde Volpe giving Health Class to our Kikimi kids

Clotilde Volpe giving Health Class to our Kikimi kids

School Director Theo during roll call

School Director Theo during roll call

This project has been a journey of faith, step by step as the Lord has been leading, guiding and providing, one miracle of supply after another. But an even greater miracle has been performed, in the hearts of these women and children, where hope has been rekindled for a better future for themselves and for the whole village. They also have contributed through their prayers, and each step of progress has encouraged their faith, that God truly loves them and cares for them.

Tailoring under the trees

Tailoring under the trees

Orphaned girl learning tailoring in the outdoors

Orphaned girl learning tailoring in the outdoors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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