• General News

Rwenena Kids Ministry Team Update

May 16, 2018

The Rwenena Kids Ministry Team thanks the congregation for its generous support of this important education project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. With your support and that of outside donors, the Rwenena Kids project has paid the school fees for 89 children to attend primary school and 4 youth to attend secondary school, as well as provided uniforms and school supplies.

This spring with SAFECO, our partner organization, we launched a new literacy and mentoring initiative for women (including teen mothers) called Girl Ambassadors for Peace. The objective is to provide basic literacy skills as well as to inform them of their rights, particularly as advocates of their children’s education. The focus of this initiative is to help women become better advocates for themselves and their children's education through outreach and education. Two adult literacy classes are underway: with one class of 22 women who have never attended school; and another of 18, for those who started but not completed primary school. women who are illiterate, lacking a basic primary education. The second class includes 18 women who have just a basic primary education. To complement this initiative, the Executive Director of SAFECO, Neema Namadamu, is traveling to the village next month to provide an empowerment workshop for all parents.

Rwenena struggles regularly with lack of basic human rights such as access to clean water, food and income security, and health care services. A nationwide constitutional crisis has unleashed interethnic rivalries. After skirmishes in neighboring villages and out of fear of reprisals, women and children in Rwenena escaped to the township of Luberizi, where they remained for 1 month before returning home to safety. Luberizi arranged for a makeshift school in their church, where classes were held.

This year, the people living in the village of Rwenena have continued to struggle with many difficult challenges. The village is in a very remote part of the country where it is extremely difficult to travel and communicate outside of the village. Safety and health risks are also very high. In late February the women and children left their home village due to increased security tensions in Rwenena and stayed in a neighboring village of Luberizi for a month. The children went to school for a month in a church at Luberizi. They are safe back in their own school now, but unfortunately, the principal of their school suddenly died from complications of the flu in April.

A team meeting will be scheduled to review the progress report to be submitted by SAFECO to us after the school year ends. For more information about the project or to join the team, please contact rwenenakids@cedarlane.org.