Our international team has officially arrived back on African soil.
We’re excited for the group we have this summer: a couple of university students, a few of our graduated interns and couple of Justice Rising returnees coming back to our little Congo loft.
Every summer, we run into the same issue that I’m sure parents all over the world face. After final exams are finished and the last bell sounds, our hundreds of students have summer break and from the moment they wake up, until the moment they crash at night- have a lot of time and energy to fill their days with.
This year we’re pumped for our team to offer clubs, activities and English classes as an alternative to idle hands!
It’s going to be neat as our focus is creativity. We’ll be offering our kids and youth dance classes, creative writing and photography workshops- lots of good summer break fun!
Along with teachings and workshops, we’re also so excited to be building our new Vocational Training Center (you’ll probably be hearing a lot about it over the next couple of months as it’s our favorite thing right now).
The Vocational Training Center is our continued response to the question the community in Masisi asked us of “We’re losing our youth to the army. How can you help us?” We began with soccer and mentoring, and last year we expanded with GED classes and the chance for the boys to get an education.
However, one thing that we found with some of our boys was that due to the fact that some had literally not sat in classroom for a decade, going back to a regular learning routine (even with tutors and shortened days) was just too far a stretch for them.
For those who have either finished school or are unable to due to their past and their constant lifestyle of fleeing from war, we will soon also offer vocational training for them to learn a trade!
We can’t wait to see the village grow with skilled carpenters and masons. Job creation gives confidence and a self-sustaining way out of poverty. Often boys join the army with free will as they lack funds and vision for their life. We hope that this becomes a long term way for them to build their lives and their community for peace!
Watch this space as we will be sharing stories directly from Congo as they unfold!
-Cass and the JR team