To Shadrack, the word peace means stability. “Congo needs that,” he told us in July, as he thought about what a school based on the principles of peace and nonviolence will mean for him, his country, and the world. Shadrack lives with his grandparents, after his father, a soldier, died when Shadrack was just six years old, and his mother recently passed away from HIV/AIDS.
13 year old Shadrack will enter his first class at the Congo Peace School as a secondary student in grade 1. He’s excited to learn who his French teacher will be, and continue to study his favorite subject a this new school. “I’ve heard the term nonviolence,” he said, “but I don’t really know what it means.”
“My only dream is to be admitted to this school,” said Shadrack.
“Oh!” Amani paused in translating for Shadrack. “He says, ‘I want to be like Amani, to do the work you are doing, to help others.'”
Amani is Action Kivu’s Founding Director and the visionary leader behind all we do in Congo, inspiring the community that peace is possible, and it starts within each of us. https://www.patreon.com/congopeaceschool
When asked what the term “nonviolence” means to him, Arsene replied: “I’ve only ever heard of violence, not nonviolence. Our teachers tell us about what is happening in the world, and it is all related to violence.” I asked Arsene what expectations he has for this new school, based on the principles of peace and nonviolence. “We never know,” he said. “I hear this school will be a blessing. Maybe I will graduate and become president.”
From our U.S. ED, who is in Congo reporting on our ongoing programs and the Congo Peace School:
Thank you to the Eddy family – the newest members of the Action Kivu Congo Peace School Patreon family. Your monthly commitment helps ensure the ongoing education grounded in peace and nonviolence for students like Arsene, who will enter grade 2 of secondary school at the Peace School this September.
Thank you to all our Patreon donors, Guardian Donors, our partner Dillon Henry Foundation, and PLFDreams for making this vision of peace possible, investing in future peace leaders. It starts here.
The need is great, if we reach $650 / month on the Patreon page we can pay 2 of our secondary school teachers a living wage. Jim us for as little as $3 per month!
“But I have no uniform.” Our U.S. ED reports from Congo: Visiting Action Kivu’s Literacy Program, I noticed that one student appeared much younger than the others. Asking the age range of the group, I learned that Anouarite, pictured here, is 10 years old. After a few students shared their thoughts on equality and community, and Amani and I started to say our goodbyes, Anouarite stood up and addressed our Founding Director and leader Amani, telling him she is an orphan who has no one to pay for her education, so she joined the Literacy Program, determined to learn how to read and write. Barely four feet tall, she stood strong and confident and asked if she could attend the Congo Peace School when it opens in September. Amani said yes on the spot, as part of his criteria to select students is to find those most vulnerable, who have no one to look out for their education, as well as to find strong leadership potential, students willing to assert themselves.
As we celebrated her drive and determination to get an education, she interrupted: “But I have no uniform.” Amani assured her that the uniform and supplies are part of the school, and she will be well cared for.
Action Kivu’s Sewing Workshop students and alumni will be paid to make the school uniforms for the 160 students will will launch the school this September in grades 1 & 2 primary, and grades 1 & 2 secondary, part of the synergy that is implemented across much of Action Kivu’s work on the ground in Congo.
Celebrate Anouarite’s courage and determination with a monthly commitment to her education and students like her! A pledge of $3 / month ($36 / year) will purchase 3 uniforms for students at the Congo Peace School. Learn more and sign up at our Patreon Page – www.patreon.com/congopeaceschool