Since 2007, En Classe has been working hard to build a brighter future for thousands of children in Kinshasa. Kinshasa is the capital of Congo, one of the poorest countries in the world.
The country is huge, with hardly any infrastructure, and has almost 80 million inhabitants. For over 25 years, a horrific civil war has been raging in Congo and more than 5 million people have been killed. Often the war centers around one of the many valuable raw materials that can be found in the country, such as coltan, which is needed to manufacture electronics such as cell phones and computers. You are most likely carrying around a piece of Congo in your cell phone everyday!
The general level of education in Congo is low. If children go to school at all, they frequently have to sit on the floor in dilapidated school buildings. They learn to read and write with out-dated methods and few materials. En Classe believes this situation needs to change.
En Classe starts by improving the basic infrastructure of a school. We invest in new roofs, floors, doors and windows where needed, furnish classrooms with desks, build bathrooms and install running water and electricity. Our next step is to improve the quality of the education by implementing several educational programs, such as a digital reading program and teacher training.
1) Year after year, En Classe has invested in the local economy by creating dozens of jobs for Congolese people; from contractors, masons, wood and metal workers, to teacher coaches and school aides. Nearly 100% of our budget is spent on decent salaries for all of these people and on purchasing local materials. We absolutely believe in investing locally.
2) As a result, school buildings have been improved and teachers have become more skilled and empowered to teach using modern methods and up-to-date materials.
3) Consequently, students receive a better education with these improved conditions, which ultimately enhances their chances of a brighter future.
Our ongoing goal is to improve education throughout the entire country of Congo, not just in Kinshasa. We hope to do so in a sustainable way that will benefit all involved.