Education of Girls in the Equator Region, Congo

Democratic Republic of Congo

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The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) lies astride the equator, and virtually all of the country is part of the vast Congo River basin. The DRC is made up of a large plateau, forests, swamps, and mountains and is divided into ten provinces. 

The DRC still struggles after many years of civil war and dictatorship. There is still much suffering from poverty, malnutrition, disease, and hunger as well as violent conflict in the east of the country. The United Nations Development Program on Human Development Index at one point ranked the DRC as 168 out of 177 countries in the world. In spite of the difficulties faced, the church has remained the center of daily life for people.

The Community of Disciples of Christ in the Congo (CDCC) has been affiliated with Global Ministries and its predecessor mission bodies for over 100 years.  Today the CDCC is a longstanding and vital partner of Global Ministries.

The CDCC requests support for the Education for Girls in the Equator Region, a project which benefits elementary and secondary schoolgirls.  The specific objectives are to promote capacity building and empowerment of girls, keeping in mind that lack of education is a contributing factor to sustained poverty, HIV/AIDS, prostitution, and other social difficulties. 

The United Nations reports that one of the main reasons why children, especially girls, do not go to or stay at school is that the family has to pay for educational supplies such as pens, slates, notebooks, crayons, etc. Many ask “if school is free why don’t more children in poor countries attend school?” One reason is that the real cash cost of schooling for parents turns out to be quite high. Hidden costs include clothing/uniforms, textbooks, school supplies, school meals, snacks, and fees for science lab and sports equipment. The pressure of assuming these financial burdens while losing a potential helping hand at home or another household income…often proves to be more than poor families can bear.  (Dr. A. K. Shiva Kumar, an advisor on children’s issues, U.N. Children’s Fund.)

One example of the setting for this critical need to support education for girls is the Lycee Nsangea Ndotsi Girls Secondary School.  The students there are in need of supplies and equipment that the girls need to use in pursuit of their education.  At present, the school has only one functioning computer.  Most of the girls have to use old, manual typewriters to prepare their work. A gift of $1,200 will provide a laptop computer for students to use at the Lycee Nsangeo Ndotsi Girls Secondary School and other schools like it.

The Community of the Disciples of Christ in Congo administers education funds through their Education Office and it is the Education Coordinator’s responsibility to get the funds to the neediest areas.

Update: March 2016

outside.jpgIn Mbandaka, the CDCC’s Nsangea Ndotsi Girls Secondary School is the only girls’ school in the community.  This school is one of 500 schools run by the CDCC, and it provides an education for approximately 700 female students through a curriculum that includes the study of basic subjects, language studies, and informatics. 

Gifts to Global Ministries during 2015 for the CDCC Education of Girls in the Equator Region project have enabled more girls to attend school and receive an education through providing scholarships.  The scholarship support benefits girls in secondary school, and students obtaining higher education.  Today, because of gifts to support girls’ education in the Equator region, scholarship recipients have gone on to obtain degrees in nursing and education. 

scholarshiprecipients2015.PNGIn addition to providing scholarships, the CDCC is raising funds to purchase computers for the Nsangea Ndotsi Girls Secondary School.  Incorporating computers into the school’s curriculum will enable its students to become more knowledgeable in skills that are becoming increasingly important for today’s workforce.  The school currently owns one computer.  Additional computers can provide the school’s student population with a basic understanding of computers. 

Read a donor story supporting the Education of Girls in the Equator Region, Congo.

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