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Build Congo Schools constructs and equips primary and secondary schools in DR Congo to transform children’s futures, reduce poverty and strengthen communities

4,600 Students’ lives transformed by

9 Schools built in DR Congo

CHALLENGES AND GOALS

Most schools in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are in dire condition. This is the result of extreme poverty, internal conflicts and a lack of government funding for education, despite the Congo’s mineral wealth. (See history.)

Only 18% of the Congo’s almost 1000 Presbyterian schools are made of durable material. Most schools have only rough plank benches with mud walls and thatched roofs, or deteriorating brick walls and rusting tin roofs. Your help is needed to build and equip these schools.

In 2007, Build Congo Schools (formerly Congo Education Excellence Project), was developed by Congolese leaders and their U.S. partners to transform these schools with new school buildings, as well as teacher training, books, scholarships for girls and orphans, and motorcycles for supervisors. Since then, new schools have been built or repaired, and resources have been provided. Student attendance and test scores have risen in the new schools! Hope is rising because in 2019 the government mandated “free education” for primary school children, and raised teachers’ salaries in some accredited schools. There is also a new government plan to build more schools, hire more teachers and increase teacher salaries; however, the government does not have the funds to build and equip all schools quickly, especially because student enrollment has exploded. Some classrooms have over 100 students. Your help is much needed.

Committed to Education

Congolese Presbyterians believe that all children deserve quality schools in which to learn. Because of this, the two Presbyterian denominations in the DRC (headquartered in Kananga, Mbuji Mayi and Kinshasa) sustain over 1000 primary and secondary schools.

Even though these schools are “public”, the government provides only minimal monthly funding for teacher salaries and for school maintenance. Government still provides minimal funding for school construction, books, teacher training, education equipment and building maintenance. Your help is much needed to support these schools.

Map of Congo
New Zapo Zapo Primary, plus newly created Institute Ditalala Secondary School -- one school meets in the morning and the other in the afternoon.

Quality Schools Change Lives

Two hundred Bupole School students and teachers met under orange tarps for two years, because the village had no school building, and no money to build a durable one. Parents desperately wanted their children to have a durable building. When a U.S. team from Build Congo Schools saw the tarp school on a Mission Trip, Belinda Dickenson from Birmingham was inspired to raise funds for a brick and tin school. With the help of Alabama churches, Bupole School was built with latrines and a water catchment system. Students and teachers are thrilled with their new, durable school.

Bupole Tarp School
Bupole Tarp School
New Bupole School
New Bupole School

History

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the richest countries in the world in natural resources. Its people are among the poorest. Exploitation of the Congo’s resources by the Western world dates back to King Leopold of Belgium who established military camps to extort rubber and tusks from villagers. Resource exploitation continues today, especially with coltan, which is used in electronic devices. Armed conflicts in the Congo’s mineral rich regions have killed millions and left pervasive poverty in their wake.

Despite this history, the nearly 1000 Presbyterian primary and secondary schools are surviving because of the determination of parents, teachers and church leaders. The majority of these schools are in the Provinces of Kasai Occidental, Kasai Oriental, Lulua and Loman (see map below) where the Presbyterian Churches of the Congo (CPC) are located. There are also about 200 Presbyterian schools in the Provinces of Kinshasa, Mai-Ndombe, Kwilu and Kwango where the Presbyterian Churches of Kinshasa (CPK) are located.

Highlighted provinces are where CPC and CPK have schools

Help Build and Equip a School

For information about Build Congo Schools’ goals and work, email us here.