From our Founding Director, Amani Matabaro, who is a community organizer in every facet of his life, from his work with Action Kivu his commitment to the mission of Rotary International. Read Amani’s words, as his Rotary Club delivers medical equipment to Dr. Denis Mukwege for use at the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu, DRC:
“What an honor being a founding member of the Rotary Club of Bukavu Mwangaza! Today is an unforgettable day whereby my club officially hands over this medical equipment (Digital X-Ray / Brivo-F) to the Panzi Hospital, a life changing project whose vision came from Dr. Mukwege, the recipient of the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. [The equipment donation] is possible thanks to the generous support of Rotary International District 1620 in Belgium and the Rotary Club of Bukavu Mwangaza in south Kivu, DRC.
“Dr. Mukwege is a man whose sense of humility and compassion will inspire you every time you meet him. Today was not the first time I met Dr. Mukwege, but I felt moved by his words calling everyone to make a difference and not just stand idly by doing nothing.”
No matter where you are, you can make a difference and change the lives of so many, whether through the Panzi Hospital and Foundation, or through Amani’s work in education, from literacy to organic farming to sewing workshops to the newly opened Congo Peace School, paving the road for peace ambassadors. If you want to support this groundbreaking, life-changing school, visit patreon.com/congopeaceschool. Even $3 per month makes a difference, and the need is great, as we grow from four grades to the full school of 12 classes.
The school is already changing the lives of the students and staff. Read more about their stories here.
The Congo Peace School opens its doors on Monday, September 3rd! This month, our Founding Director Amani Matabaro trained the teachers and many of the students in some of the practices of nonviolence and peace.
We’ve posted a video and more photos that are accessible when you support the school via our Patreon page for as little as $3 per month! That’s less than a morning latte in most places – can you commit to being a Congo Peace School patron today? Each month you will receive an exclusive video update from the school. www.patreon.com/
Photo credit: Tony Mancilla
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
Thanks to a generous grant from the Dillon Henry Foundation, we have begun construction on the Congo Peace School! With $42K left to go, we have 90% of the budget to build the school.
“The world is torn apart, Congo is torn apart, but people coming together, people choosing to work for peace, can repair the world.” Hear from Amani about the impact and importance of your partnership with the people of Congo!
In addition to the Congolese school curriculum, the teachers and staff will be trained by our partner, Amani, to integrate nonviolence and trauma support into the school system, creating education for leadership, to raise up peace leaders, and influence the future of Congo through its youth. Based on Amani’s training in Kingian nonviolence from the University of Rhode Island, the educators will help children and communities understand that, “I am, because you are,”” and “you are, because I am.”
Peace and nonviolence will be a part of the curriculum, with teachers trained to discipline without violence, and to identify and address trauma in children. With class sizes limited to 40 versus the typical 75-80, children will receive more one-on-one attention, and an education to become peaceful leaders with a sense of agency.
Donate today and invest in promoting peace, education, and equality. Every dollar helps fund the the Peace School and our other life-changing work! Join the movement at https://www.actionkivu.org/how-you-can-help/
13 years old, Furaha just finished grade 3 of elementary school. She walks about a half hour from school to home, where she lives with her grandparents and her two sisters and three brothers. After school, she helps out at home with the dishes, drawing water, and collecting firewood for cooking when they have food.
Furaha loves going to school: “As a girl, I want to be educated and help my family and country.” Like many of her classmates, her passion is for Congo to be a place of peace. Her hero is Amani, our visionary leader and community builder, whose name means peace.
When Furaha finishes school, she’d like to be an elementary school principal.