Training & Education

Education in the Congo

Challenging conditions and a lack of resources make adequate educational services scarce in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The absence of strong learning institutions for the public has stripped Congolese citizens of the most important asset with which to change their lives–economically, socially, and politically– for the better  The lack of learning and training resources has led to astonishingly poor literacy rates and a widespread inability to obtain necessary career skills. Over 30% of the population cannot read or write and over 75% have no access to the internet. When employment opportunities arise, the local people are often not considered for these positions because of their lack of education and access to knowledge.

Without  an education and a way to be informed about the world outside their communities, many Congolese are left unable to support themselves and their families. This leaves many Congolese feeling powerless to change their situations. Vulnerable, without alternative means to survive, many young children succumb to recruitment by armed militia groups, becoming soldiers as young as ten years old.

In response to the poor state of education in the Congo, JPF has developed a number of initiatives aimed at training the workforce for opportunities in the job market, improving literacy rates, and providing schooling for children. JPF even has donated bicycles to allow for greater mobility and access to economic opportunity.

The education and training programs in Kinshasa exemplify JPF’s development strategy, which centers on community empowerment at the grassroots level. The education program strives not only to equip students with practical skills to succeed in the work force and support their families, but also to promote a sense of confidence in their abilities to  transform their lives and improve the communities in which they live.

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The Kinshasa Training Center

In 2006, JPF built an adult job training center located in Kinshasa. With a staff constantly assessing the economic climate of the surrounding area, JPF provides students with training directly relevant to the needs of local employers. Men and women can take training courses in subjects ranging from Microsoft Office, languages, basic literacy, and vocational skills such as sewing, hair styling, and other trades.

The Center subsidizes free classes for the poor through paid instruction to business and government employees.

Thee program began in 2008, located at JPF administrative headquarters in Kinshasa, and equipped with donated computers and classroom equipment shipped from the U.S. Today, nearly 250 students are currently enrolled in English, French, and Computer Literacy lessons offered at the center.

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Schools in the Kibeti Ecovillage

JPF’s education iniatives extend outside the large capital city of Kinshasa to the small rural village of Kibeti, located in the DRC’s Bandundu province.

In Kibeti, the foundation operates an adult literacy and training school, currently educating over 250 adults in the village to read and write, as well providing vocation-based instruction in sewing, agriculture, and other trades.

JPF also runs a small kindergarten in Kibeti with a current enrollment of over 50 young children.

 

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