Access to Education: War Child Canada in the Democratic Republic of Congo

War Child, in conjunction with local Congolese organizations, the Ministry of Education, radio stations, and community members in South Kivu province, is rebuilding education infrastructure by repairing and reopening schools, offering child-focused programming, and training teachers.
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Year launched: 
2005

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting
Primary Approach: 
Implementer: 
War Child Canada
Education level (ISCED): 

Location Data

State/Province: 
South Kivu Province
City: 
Uvira and Fizi districts
Geography type: 
Program Description: 

War Child Canada has been working in South Kivu province since 2005 to provide conflict-affected children access to quality education in a safe and protected environment. A significant portion of children in the South Kivu province have been unable to regularly attend school due to the destruction of infrastructure and a lack of qualified teachers. The return of displaced populations and of demobilized child soldiers intensified the need for basic educational infrastructure. As a result of devastating conflict in the region, War Child Canada’s programs aim to be comprehensive and span the following areas:

  • Rehabilitating and rebuilding schools: The school rehabilitation project oversees the reconstruction of classroom structures and provides furniture and school supplies for both students and teachers. Latrines are also built to ensure proper hygiene. Since 2005, War Child has handed the upkeep and management of the schools’ infrastructures to community members in accordance with War Child’s community participation policy.
  • Child-focused supplemental programming: Outside the classroom, War Child provides resources for children and facilitates numerous child-focused programs. For example, child-led radio broadcasting through a local radio station places children in the roles of educators on social issues while journalism-focused training grants youth a platform from which to express themselves. These activities are developed around issues that are important to children and youth in the region, such as sexual and gender-based violence, child rights, child labor, education, community involvement, and more.
  • Training teachers: Through teacher training workshops, educators are provided with the resources, skills and knowledge to be able to teach and support students not only scholastically, but also emotionally and physically. War Child has worked to update the UNESCO-led teacher’s manual ‘Le Bon Enseignant’ and teaching resources were developed that are consistent with national teacher training standards.
  • Offering after-school activities for vulnerable children: In order to address the needs of vulnerable children including former child combatants, child-mothers, and child-returnees, War Child implements after-school accelerated learning programs that allow out-of-school children to take part in educational classes free of charge in a safe environment that equips them with the confidence and tools to eventually re-enter the formal education system.
  • Educational programming for women: War Child piloted a women’s basic education project for six months in 2012. Training these women on basic numeracy and literacy skills facilitates their management of household income and increases opportunities for their children. This program includes the development of a literacy manual for participants as well as a literacy teachers’ handbook. Literacy teachers are trained on how to use the literacy manual to provide appropriate adult learning methodology.

War Child works alongside local partners including the Ministry of Education, radio stations, local Congolese organizations, women’s groups, parents, and elders to ensure sustainability and community engagement for programming.

War Child Canada has been working in South Kivu province since 2005 to provide conflict-affected children with access to quality education in a safe and protected environment. A significant portion of children in the South Kivu province have been unable to regularly attend school due to the destruction of infrastructure and a lack of qualified teachers. The return of displaced populations and of demobilized child soldiers intensified the need for basic educational infrastructure. As a result of devastating conflict in the region, War Child Canada’s programs aim to be comprehensive and include a range of different interventions. War Child Canada’s current programming includes:

  • Radio-based learning: War Child is currently implementing a pilot project to provide girls with access to secondary education through radio-based learning. The project targets 500 out-of-school girls aged 12-16 in rural areas, who don’t have access to schools in their communities.
  • Educational programming for women: War Child provides basic education training, including literacy and numeracy, for women to facilitate their management of household income and increase opportunities for their children. This program includes the development of a literacy manual for participants as well as a literacy teachers’ handbook. Literacy teachers are trained on how to use the literacy manual to provide appropriate adult learning methodology.

Previous programming includes:

  • Rehabilitating and rebuilding schools: The school rehabilitation project oversees the reconstruction of classroom structures and provides furniture and school supplies for both students and teachers. Latrines are also built to ensure proper hygiene. Since 2005, War Child has handed the upkeep and management of the schools’ infrastructures to community members in accordance with War Child’s community participation policy.
  • Child-focused supplemental programming: Outside the classroom, War Child provides resources for children and facilitates numerous child-focused programs. For example, child-led radio broadcasting through a local radio station places children in the roles of educators on social issues while journalism-focused training grants youth a platform from which to express themselves. These activities are developed around issues that are important to children and youth in the region, such as sexual and gender-based violence, child rights, child labor, education, community involvement, and more.
  • Training teachers: Through teacher training workshops, educators are provided with the resources, skills and knowledge to be able to teach and support students not only scholastically, but also emotionally and physically. War Child has worked to update the UNESCO-led teacher’s manual ‘Le Bon Enseignant’ and teaching resources were developed that are consistent with national teacher training standards.
  • Offering after-school activities for vulnerable children: In order to address the needs of vulnerable children including former child combatants, child-mothers, and child-returnees, War Child implements after-school accelerated learning programs that allow out-of-school children to take part in educational classes free of charge in a safe environment that equips them with the confidence and tools to eventually re-enter the formal education system.
  • Educational programming for women: War Child piloted a women’s basic education project. Training these women on basic numeracy and literacy skills facilitates their management of household income and increases opportunities for their children. This program includes the development of a literacy manual for participants as well as a literacy teachers’ handbook. Literacy teachers are trained on how to use the literacy manual to provide appropriate adult learning methodology.

War Child works alongside local partners including the Ministry of Education, radio stations, local Congolese organizations, women’s groups, parents, and elders to ensure sustainability and community engagement for programming.

 

Highlighting Innovation: 
War Child Canada is exploring innovative ways to make education accessible to children who are out-of-school and hard-to-reach through the use of the most widely used mode of communication in the DRC, the radio (interactive radio instruction - IRI).
Key Challenges: 
The volatile security situation in eastern DRC can make program implementation challenging. Incidents in South Kivu have increased in the past year, with the most common incidents including armed robbery and inter-community clashes.