North Kivu: MONUSCO Refurbishes a Primary School in Masisi Territory
In North Kivu province, new classrooms have been built and equipped by MONUSCO’s quick impact project for a primary school in Malehe village, which is located on the outskirts of the city of Saké, in Kamuronza grouping, the territory of Assisi.
The refurbishment work worth $48,550 lasted three months and employed 66 skilled local workers in the rehabilitation and reconstruction work. “We mainly employed people from the surrounding area so that they could take ownership of the refurbishment work. It generated jobs for over sixty people", explained Augustin Ombeni, member of the local NGO “Action des volontaires pour l’assistance aux vulnérables/Action by Volunteers for Assistance to the Vulnerable people (AVAV), which carried out the work.
The work consisted, among other things, in building three new classrooms in solid material and rehabilitating six more with planks and six adjacent latrines equipped with 2,000-litre water tank. Thus, the renovated premises which have also been equipped with tables and benches will greatly improve the studying conditions for the schoolchildren and working conditions for the teaching staff in the school.
According to Julius Fondong, Political Affairs Officer at MONUSCO office in Goma, this project is a response to a request to MONUSCO by the chief of Kamuronza grouping. “As you are aware, MONUSCO’s mandate is mainly to support basic state institutions. In this context, we have also sought to improve the studying conditions for the students as well as the working environment for the teachers in the said school. Indeed, the school has seen an increase in its workforce after the volcanic eruption of May 2021”. Thus, some 311 schoolchildren and teachers will benefit from this new infrastructure at the start of the school year in September 2022.
This project is also a response to the concerns voiced by the students’ parents, said Charles Bihemu Kalibiri, chief of the locality of Malehe. “Due to the school’s advanced state of dilapidation, several school children left to enroll themselves in distant schools. As a result, the victims of the Nyiragongo volcano who took refuge in the school in 2021 started using remaining desks for firewood. The schoolchildren who went to study more than 12 km from Malehe, will now return to their school to study. Parents will no longer have to pay construction costs since the school has been refurbished with funding from MONUSCO. We thank those who have rehabilitated the school as well as those who pleaded for us to benefit from this project”.
Preparations for the start of the school year have already begun in this school while awaiting the official inauguration by MONUSCO scheduled for the first week of September 2022.