Our work in AFRICA
Africa has an exotic ring to many people, but it is much more than wildlife and breathtaking nature. More important: Africa is much more than the images of war we often see in the international media. It is not a continent with a uniform culture. It is very diverse on culture, traditions, languages, history and ideas. Africa has much to offer to those who are ready to listen.
THINGS WE HAVE ACHIEVED SO FAR:
These are several projects which we have already funded:
- An increased level of financial assistance to pupils from 35% to 65%, (7200+ students aged between 3-19).
- In Summer 2011, we have opened the 1st ever Citizen Advice Centre in the DRC to help the vulnerable and abused defend their rights in accordance with the Congolese constitution.
- A new community friendly resource centre, in which we fitted 16 computers with an extra 4 to be fitted this month making a total of 20 computers, donated by the Leys College (Cambridge) and the Cambridge Centre of Sixth Form Studies – we spent £7,000 to adopt and adapt them to meet local needs.
- A teacher training programme accessible to all our teachers, including an IT training course. 99% of the teachers had never touched a computer before and thanks to this scheme 100% will be computer literate by the end of this academic year (2009-10). This project is ongoing and cost £200 a month.
- We have supplied our partner school’s clinic at St Georges with much needed medical equipment donated by Addenbrookes Hospital including a new microscope donated by Dr Wilf Kelsal and his wife Carol.
- Since September 2009 more than 7000 pupils have access to some form of medical care compared to less than a 1000 in previous academic years. Students pay £3.50 per year.
- We have connected 8 of our computers to the internet, allowing teachers, pupils and staff access to information previously denied to them – internet access cost £150 per month.
- We have established a Congo and Impington students group, where students communicate with each other online, sharing all sorts of information, but most importantly develop friendships – this project is ongoing.
- We have put in place schemes enabling volunteers to travel to the Congo to help us train people and transfer skills. This last year 76 volunteers have been to visit our project. The youngest person was 7 years old.
- We have helped send 3 girls from our schools in very deprived areas to university, which would have been otherwise impossible. Patrick Chadwick, a film-maker and supporter of Menelik Education, generously paid the year’s fees for one of them. Average university cost is £250 per year.
- We have given financial assistance to 3 single mothers to start up businesses, all of which are running successfully – £500 per business. The start of the loan repayment is in January 2010, however, the date may have to be reviewed depending on circumstances.
THINGS WE WANT TO ACHIEVE:
- Open libraries within the resource centre and in some of our schools – £12,500.
- Refurbish our orphanage (MENELIK’S CHILDREN) – £17,000 which includes a secure playground and other children friendly facilities.
- Refurbish the site identified in one of our campuses to establish a school offering vocational qualifications – £8,000.
- Fund Congolese teachers trips to the UK for training in 2013 – £4,500.
- Fund an agricultural development project in the communities we work in to help families brake the cycle of poverty. Introducing the idea of self-sufficiency in the DRC will gradually decrease the country’s reliance on imported food – £10,500.
- Fund for shipping a 40ft container with materials for the above £7,500
Appeal Target: £60,000
MENELIK Community Empowerment Projects
We had a great year in 2012 considering our low budget. As shown above, we have achieved a lot since 2011. We have helped communities develop their farm land to become more productive. We support fisher women groups along the river Congo by helping them reconstruct their fish farm. We are developing our schools breakfast feeding programme so that in September 2014, a canteen service can be operational in all our schools. This we believe will increase enrolment at all our schools and hopefully help us generate more income to bring other new and complementary services. Please get in touch with us if you would like to help or know more about our schools.
Communities are being educated through the establishment of vital community services in the areas in which we are operating. We also involve schools, teachers, and parents in these programmes as we believe that they can play a major role in helping us build cohesive communities and safe environments. We also teach skills in growing trees, their uses and the environmental benefits of maintaining a healthy environment as these goals are also important.
Since MENELIK Community Project involves the whole community, we address problems concerning clean drinking water, schooling and basic health at the same time as we teach environmental education. For example, MENELIK rebuilds and deepens existing wells and digs new ones, especially at community schools, which also receive blackboards, pencils, chalk, and other school supplies on top of all other assistance they may need to help elevate standards.
MENELIK staff and volunteers, visit each community supplying materials, providing education and giving out school supplies and work with the community to maintain a clean safe drinking water system. We work very closely with local authorities, traditional Leaders and the community at large to help them achieve full participation for the betterment of the environment and to create sustainable lifestyles. we also train individuals in the community to turn them into community champions.
Our goal is to continue expanding this concept across all of the DRC. We know it works as we have been operating in this country since 2003 when the civil war ended.
Already there is a waiting list of associations and communities across the DRC that are knocking at our doors for assistance. Our needs are varied but we desperately need adequate transport (4X4s) to reach hard to reach communities in rural areas who desperately need our assistance. A transport and distribution budget will need to be found quickly as many lives depends on it. If you can help with these costs please go to the donate page and donate. It would be appreciated.