Barbara Spencer, Tom and Jan Sullivan (Evanston), Anne Crane (Boston), and Belinda Dickinson (Southminster member – Presbytery of Sheppards & Laplsey) traveled together on August 1 to the Democratic Republic of the Congo to give encouragement and training to Congolese Presbyterian education leaders. They met in Kinshasa and Kananga to help plan school improvements for the Congo’s 832 Presbyterian schools.
The U. S. Team also visited Presbyterian women’s programs, medical facilities and churches, and met with World Bank, UNICEF and USAID to encourage support for the Congo’s schools. French books and donations for the Congo’s school from local congregations were delivered to the Congolese by the team.
The trip objectives were to provide training in grant writing for education projects; to create a continuing education plan for over 6000 teachers; and to create a book-acquisition plan to provide all teachers with books in all subjects – huge goals, but with God and partners like you, all things are possible!!
Anne Crane, who grew up in the Congo as the daughter of Presbyterian missionaries, traveled with the team to provide translation help and secondary education consultation. She is a retired high school teacher and school founder. Belinda Dickinson, a retired primary and middle school special education teacher, provided consultation about primary and middle school education. Barbara Spencer, a retired primary school teacher provided primary education consultation and Tom Sullivan, a retired school administrator, provided training in fund raising and finance management. Jan Sullivan, a retired school social worker and special education department chair, co-facilitated the education meetings with the Congolese leaders.
Our Congo Partnership was renewed in 2014. The team is presently concentrating on education, specifically, schools. Our partners have asked for help for two schools. The first one is in Nganza Presbytery and called Bupole. The more than 200 students sit on the ground under a pole and thatch structure. There are no sanitary facilities. We are now fundraising for this school, which will cost $80,000. This will provide a seven-room building, student and teacher desks, blackboards, a bloc of sanitary latrines and a water cistern.
This school has been functioning since 2010. The government does not provide a school, so the church tries to. Strangely enough, the government will close it if remains in its present state.
Please consider making a contribution to support this project. We work through our missionaries and church leaders there to make careful use of our funds. For more information, contact Belinda Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-979-1621. You may also contact the Presbytery Office (205-978-0320) and leave a message for her.