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Back to School Stories: Hope and Thanks from Congo

Were you ever THIS excited to go back to school?

Sept 2012 amani with kids

“Papa Amani” with the kids Action Kivu / ABFEK sends to school. One student proudly displays a mathematical kit earned with scores over 70% last year.

When you’ve been kicked out of class because your family can’t afford the $7 – $8/month it costs to go to school, an education becomes even more precious.

Your partnership and support means that these kids have hope for a different future, filled with dreams of being doctors and teachers and nurses, oh my!  In addition to the 115 primary students Action Kivu / ABFEK sends to school, thanks to a partnership and generous grant from Jewish World Watch, ABFEK is now sending 52 students to secondary school.  Finishing a high school education is critical to breaking the cycle of poverty that permeates eastern Congo, poverty that stops girls from achieving their dreams. (Read more about the positive results of educating girls at Women Deliver.)

Your donations began a cycle of good.  Because you support the women studying at the Sewing Workshop and purchased sewing machines for them, they are able to make school uniforms for the children so eager to attend school. “What a big day!” Amani writes. “Our campaign was ”Young Girls, Stand Up, It’s Time!'”  Amani and his colleagues have spent the last two years raising awareness and encouraging girls, families, and local leaders to make sure girls are sent to secondary school immediately after graduating elementary school.

“Today I was happy, so happy and more than happy again,” writes Amani. “In one secondary school where 26 students are recipients of the JWW grant, there are 380 students total. 240 are  girls and 140 are boys. 67.3% of students here are girls. This is a big success in our everyday work!”

Two of the girls share their stories:

SHUKURU: “I am 13 years old, grade 1 secondary and have been getting education support  by ABFEK for about three years now. I very much like Maths because I want to become a medical doctor one day in my life. I am from a family of five, among four sisters and one brother.  Only two of my sisters and my brother are in school . My elder sisters got married [too young] because nobody could send them to school. I am lucky and I want to achieve my goal — to be become a medical doctor.  I like ping pong. For this school year, I want to succeed with a high score at the rate of 99%. I am determined to achieve my goal. I want to become able to help my mum. I do not want an untimely marriage. As long as I have someone to help me stay in school, I will make every effort to succeed. My thank you words are sent to each and every single person who has donated his or her money to pay for my education this school year. May God bless  and keep them strong.”

NOELA:  17 years old, grade 3 secondary school.  My uncle has been struggling to send me to school.  I very much like French  and want to become a French teacher. I am from a family of five, three are in school and two are not because I have no father and mum is unable to afford school for us. My purpose for this year is to succeed with 80% and challenge all the boys in my class who think they are more intelligent than I. I like domestic work and want to become a secondary school teacher. Look, I am 17 now, I should now be in grade 5 secondary school, but I had nobody to take care of me, put me in school, but I have HOPE. Thanks for people who do not know me but are paying for my education.”

Sept 2012 back to school

Secondary students start school – “My purpose for this year is to succeed with 80% and challenge all the boys in my class who think they are more intelligent than I.” ~ Noela

Huge thanks to Jewish World Watch and to you, for helping these girls achieve their dreams!  If you want to partner with Action Kivu, consider a monthly donation.

Primary school fees, including uniforms, copy books, pencils and slates = $6.25/month, or $75.00/year per student.

Secondary school fees, including uniforms, copy books, pencils and slates = $8.00/month, or $95.00/year per student.

Visit our How You Can Help page to learn more, and read more about the students and success of other elementary school girls here!

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