Harnessing the potential of the next generation in the DRC?
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has such potential in its youth, why is it not being harnessed?
You may have noticed increased media coverage surrounding the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recently. This is because the country has experienced extreme devastation after a large volcano erupted in the eastern part of the country earlier this May.
This is just another sad episode in a country that is constantly fraught with political instability, armed clashes, and human rights violations. The DRC is a country of paradoxes, both one of the richest countries in the world in natural resources, yet one of the poorest in terms of living standards.
The instability of this country is having a significant effect on the youngest population. While 46% of the country is under the age of 15, the government spending is only 3% of its annual budget on education.
Understanding the huge potential that such a youthful country possesses, Jesuit Missions has been supporting a project aimed at improving access to quality education in Kimwenza and Kikwit, areas which have seen a particular decline in education standards.
Our partner Fe y Alegria has sought to reenergise education in three ways: the first is in teacher training. Many teachers in the DRC are untrained and even unpaid. 151 teachers benefitted from teacher training supported by Jesuit Missions. 24 head teachers also received training which has significantly enhanced an improvement in the administration and leadership processes in the schools.
Secondly, there has been a focus on extra-curricular and out of classroom experiences for children in the schools. These extracurricular activities involve sport but also additional after school support offered to students with learning difficulties. This extra support helps lower the school drop-out rate.
Lastly, the creation of the values project, inspired by Ignatian spirituality. Called “Generation 21”, it is a program which uses elements of citizenship and critical thinking to help develop the growth of young people.
Jesuit Missions is proud to have helped develop the educational system in this long-term project. To find out more about the work in which we engage in around the world, sign up to our online communications below.