The DRC is immense, roughly the size of western Europe, and the second most populous country in sub-Saharan Africa. According to UNICEF, more than 7.6 million children in the DRC (5-17 years old) are out of school.
Providing the DRC’s children with a good education poses a significant challenge, particularly given the shortage of qualified teachers and the lack of training institutions. UNESCO estimates that nearly 445,000 teachers are needed by 2030 to meet the goal of universal primary education. Inspiring girls to pursue an education or stay in school is particularly challenging given that the DRC also has one of the lowest percentages of female primary school teachers (25%).
Humana People to People is supporting its local member, Humana People to People Congo, in establishing a new network of teacher-training colleges in the country. The DRC Ministry of Primary, Secondary and Vocational Education has entered into an agreement with HPP–Congo and Humana People to People to establish 54 new teacher training colleges throughout the country. The Ministry has selected 27 rural provinces of the 30 educational provinces nationwide in which to establish the colleges.
The first college opened its doors in 2012, and is housed in remodeled buildings located at the Professional and Technical Institute of Agronomy at Mbankana. Mbankana is a rural town 150 kilometers to the east of Kinshasa, within the municipality of Maluku, one of 24 municipalities in the city-province of Kinshasa.
Formed in September 2006, HPP–Congo began work in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the Child Aid Malueka project in Kinshasa. This project has been vigorously promoting the education of families, especially children, and increasing adult literacy in the interests of strengthening the family economy. The organization’s other initiatives have included a strong educational component, training local personnel from the DRC to lead and implement its programs. These programs have focused on improving health, hygiene, sanitation, disease prevention, food security, good nutrition, environmental issues, and the training and coordination of small-scale farmers.