Back by popular request

High up on the Plateau of eastern DR Congo, five hours’ drive and three hours’ walk away from the nearest city, support from government or other agencies in short supply. But quietly, without fuss, the headteacher of Bibangwa gets things done. 

The parents of Bibangwa actually petitioned the Ministry of Education to recruit Mr Ndatabaye. He’d been headteacher before, but had left to further his studies.  The school suffered in his absence. There was virtually no maintenance of the building, pupils soon started to leave, joining other schools in the hope of getting a better education.

Within a few months of his return, Mr Ndatabaye had Bibangwa community mobilised, carrying out essential repairs, patching up holes in the roofs and walls. These and other improvements have had pupils flooding back to the school.

Pupils have flooded back to Bibangwa school thanks to the improvements that Mr Ndatabaye has introduced

All are welcome

Mr Ndatabaye has made an effort to break down tribal barriers in his classrooms. Children of all six local ethnic groups attend, some walking an hour and a half each way to be there. It’s in classrooms that prejudices are broken and friendships formed. Work by unassuming teachers like Mr Ndatabaye is so important to future peace and prosperity.

A new school

It was apparent to us that despite of everything that Mr Ndatabaye had done, the children and its teachers were still being let down by their school building.With the generous support of The Virdee Foundation, we’re currently building a new, durable school for Bibangwa - one which won’t rely on the constant efforts of Mr Ndatabaye and the children’s parents to stay standing.

Work's going well on the new school for Mr Ndatabaye and the children of Bibangwa
The signing of a contract outlining contributions that Children in Crisis, EMI (our local Congolese partner) and Bibangwa community will make to building the new school

With Bibangwa being so remote, the school’s construction wouldn’t be possible without significant contributions from Bibangwa’s parents. They are doing a lot of the heavy lifting. But Mr Ndatabaye is sure that they’re up to the challenge. We are too, especially with a head teacher like him at the helm. It will be a pleasure to hand him the keys to the new school when it’s built.

Read more

Parents in remote villages are building schools for their children. We’re helping them.
Photo story
An update from Bibangwa, DR Congo, where the roof is working its way along the building and classroom desks are being made!
For a child on the Congolese Plateau to be in school is precious, and far too rare. Our teacher training makes sure that they’ll get the very maximum out of their time there.