The most important investment the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) can make in its future and its citizens is EDUCATION. Did you know that education reduces poverty, increases income, and boosts economic growth? Educating girls has a multiplier effect. Think about it. If we take this seriously and educate girls and women in the DRC, this will increase their chances of having a healthy life, reduce maternal deaths, and fight diseases such as HIV and AIDS, malnutrition, cholera, and other preventive diseases. Embracing education now will not only promote peace and gender equality, but also and more importantly will reduce child marriage.
Women and girls who are educated tend to be healthier, earn more income, take better care of themselves and their future children and have fewer children because they plan. These benefits conveyed across communities at large and from generation to generation to make their education the best investment any country can make or dream of will create lasting changes. At Helping Hand for Survivors (HHS), we value and encourage early childhood education. We take it as vital to lifelong success. In villages where we operate, it is almost non-existent. HHS wants to make certain that leaders understand that children who have access to quality early childhood programs do better in primary schools than those who did not have a chance to and in return have a better education outcome in the years ahead. It is very crucial that the DRC invests in affordable early childhood programs for a better future of its citizens.
In Democratic Republic of Congo, especially among Helping Hand for Survivors’ beneficiaries, there are many women who don’t know how to read and write. For instance, 80% of girls don’t go to school. Regardless of age, women should be encouraged to go back to school or teach older women how to read even at home, not only in their local language, but also in the four national and international languages if possible. This can boost their confidence, encourage them, and give them a self-esteem. It is therefore like an asset to help women lead their own lives since women empowerment is a serious piece in every woman’s life. If these women can be bold enough to face the world, one day they will be successful in their lives too. HHS works/operates in a safe environment where it costs $60(US) a year/per child to provide a full cycle of pre-primary through secondary education lasting 12 years. Unlike other countries, Congolese parents are responsible for all school fees for their children while most of them have no employment or income. So, you can imagine how hard it is for some parents to send their children to school. Therefore, your help is essential.
HHS is taking steps to support brave teachers. The Congolese government does not offer free or affordable school to its citizens, and sometimes it does not pay the teachers. Nevertheless, the country still has dedicated teachers who have sacrificed their lives to helping crisis-affected children, such as those we support, and are extraordinarily committed and brave. For instance, 31 percent of school age children have never set foot in a classroom. Helping Hand for Survivors alone has qualified teachers who can help achieve its goals. A $120(US) can provide a courageous teacher with school supplies she or he may need to guide children toward a more stable future.