Kabweke, hope reborn in the Congolese forest

The village of Kabweke, in the province of Kivu North in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is part of 5 Orange village projects launched in 2015. The school opened in January, while the healthcare centre is still being completed.

For the past five years, the low-lying area has seen the arrival of around 2,000 families who fled conflict affecting higher ground. The families arrived in Kabweke with the hope of giving their children a brighter future.

A school with six classes

Last October, we left Kabweke with a school and a healthcare centre undergoing construction. The project run professionally by the association SOS Enfants (SOS children) has made considerable progress. The school was opened on 13 January, and the healthcare centre is nearly complete. The school opened with 118 children.

 

inauguration officielle Kabweke
Kabweke, DRC village Orange
Kabweke, DRC village Orange school inauguration
Kabweke, DRC village Orange january 2016 inauguration

The previous school operated under a straw hut and was not an official school. In September 2015, the process was begun to have the school officially recognised by the Education Subdivision in Beni.
The Kabweke school now operates under the guidance of the country’s official school system. The Subdivision grants technical support to the school, and plans to develop a secondary school in Kabweke to minimise the children’s travel time. As of September, the primary school will be run in the morning, while the secondary school will operate in the afternoon. The name of the school is Ecole Primaire - EP Lubena.
More than 300 pupils attended in 2016.

The next step: completing construction of the healthcare centre.

In March, the foundation stone was laid by the traditional chief.
Fortunately, it is the dry season which means the construction phase (foundations, walls, and roof) can be completed in only two months.

 

Centre de santé, Kabweke
Centre health, Kabweke Orange, Foundation
construction Centre health, Kabweke
installation fourniture Centrehealth, Kabweke

The builders remained in Kabweke the whole time without going back to their families, given the difficult access to the village despite the work undertaken by residents in 2015. The carpenters were also there to build and install the doors and windows. A team was called on to work on the interior, while another team is working on construction in order to start building the roof.

 

centre health, kabweke, DRC

 

At the same time, environmentally friendly latrines are being built.

construction latrines kabweke, building
construction latrines kabweke
construction latttrines kabweke 2016

The local residents were exemplary in their contribution towards the project. In addition to the community work, the residents arranged to feed the builders, carpenters and drivers who came to the village from September until the job was done.
They were more than happy to give a helping hand when it came to carrying water for building or cleaning.
The school and healthcare centre in Kabweke will help to reunite families. Within just a few months, life in the village had changed.

The residents are now hopeful of developing their farming activity and are ready to host other families fleeing similar land conflicts. The infrastructure has provided stability and peace for these people. Little by little, the area will transform into an attractive economic centre producing cocoa, palm oil, rice and beans.

 

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