To reduce poverty and support education in South Kivu: ActionAid DRC gets real and lasting solutions in Kabare

Evariste Kpata


Action Aid DRC has initiated a support program for schools called "Free School and Protector of children" in response to the relatively high poverty rate and a very low school enrollment rates of children in Kabare; South Kivu. This support will introduce in income generating activities in Partner Schools and regularly monitoring of their management. These activities are performed by the committees of management who will regularly report to the Committee of Parents to enable transparent management. The proceeds from the aforesaid activity will assist students struggling to pay their school fees and assuming of the administrative management. By supporting these 9 (nine) IGA in the following schools: Kabare Centre Ludaha, Ishamba, Kagenge, Lwami, Muganda, Canya, Kalulu and Bushwira, AAI DRC will contribute in reducing household poverty and increase school attendance rate.

ActionAid understands that this activity will abolish the parents-paid school fees imposed on students for School operations. It is our strong belief that this good initiative will spread to the surrounding Schools, as these IGAs will certainly increase and multiply revenue flows; more support for the poorest children. However despite the positive impact of this initiative, ActionAid is limited with financial challenges as the program does not have the capacity to keep all children in school. Thus, children who are not yet supported by this program are obliged to do extra-curriculum activities to support their own studies and other family expenses.

It is at this point that one can note that four children of this community joined forces to make their field work better organized and more beneficial; below are their details Bisimwa BULANGALIRE is 12 and in 5th year at CIJOMA Primary School; Cubaka Bisimwa is 12 and in 5th year at KATUZA Primary School; Murhula is 10 and doing 2nd year in at the KATUZA Primary school as well as Kulimushi KARHUME who is 11 and doing 3rd year.

Their work is well organized, the two oldest and strongest go up the quarry to carry stones at their back, while the other two, the younger ones, crush the quarry with small hammers to make rubble. This is hard work! The scars of injuries from their turmoil are very visible on their bodies.

This is a very exhausting activity, they exclaimed! This is their daily routine after School to generate money pay their school fees.

"For two years we do this very difficult and exhausting work. This is what gives us money to pay for our school fees. This certainly helps us, but the money is not enough as we also have to share our income with the quarry owner. What is a misery!!’’ Bisimwa BULANGALIRE.

 "It is after more than three weeks of unprotected and hard work that the owner gives us an amount equivalent to $ 60 after taking his share of 40 US dollars. It's really hard for us, look at how the work is leaving wounds on our bodies. If only our parents had enough to feed us and to pay for our studies, we would stop immediately ", shared sadly Cubaka Bisimwa.

They have a good working spirit! Each time, they divide the winnings equally, they continue to work hard together as brothers of the same family yet they are from different families. They accidently met in 2014 at the quarry when each of them were looking for some quarry to crush and sell. Hence acknowledging that they all had the same problems, they decided to work together to be more efficient and to ease the labor as they are children without a lot of physical strength.

It is important note that such field challenges, are still profound in Kabare and AAI DRC has a lot to do to help the affected communities. 

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