21July2019

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Since the year 2000 our annual reports provide an overview over the progress of our projects. Apart from summaries concerning the current project this section also covers completed projects. Thereby we trace the history of “Active Direct Help”. Additionally we regularly publish the recent developments to our current project in detail.

Annual Reports
Dec 2015

Annual Report 2015

We hope you enjoy this review of our work in Mushapo in the year 2015 and that it makes you feel part of all that got accomplished.

>Construction work
The second school building walls went up all the way to the roof, the windows and doors were fabricated, put in place and painted and the inside walls were plastered. After this building was completed our whole school operation moved from SADRs farm land to our own school grounds. This happened just in time as the old farm houses, made of wood and clay which were used as temporary school buildings, were in danger of collapsing like all the other farm houses did which didn’t have to get used and kept up.

The roof of the third school building was set up, the foundation laid and the walls are almost up to the roof. Cement floors for school buildings one and two were laid. The roofs for 10 new toilets were set up, 4 for the boys, 4 for the girls, 2 for the teachers. A big water reservoir was built from scratch, with cement floor, solid brick walls and cement ceiling. Water pipes were laid so that the rain water from the roofs of the school buildings can flow into the reservoir to have water available also during the dry seasons. The roof and foundation of the Health Center were put in place; the walls are raised up about half way.

All this construction work includes first clearing the land, basically cutting it out of the wilderness. Thousands of new bricks had to be produced which is a major job. The right kind of mud has to be dug out of the ground. The hole is now 10 m deep and lies 4 km away from the school. The mud gets carried to the production site, shoveled into a form one by one, pressed down with a piece of wood, dried, built up to an oven, sealed, burned and then transported to the construction site. All this is done by hand since we don’t have machines or vehicles available in the bush.

Cement and other building materials like iron bars, nails, paint etc. have to be bought in Tshikapa and transported by bicycle transporters 65 km on sandy and muddy roads.

>Education
Our school now teaches 440 children in the primary school free of charge, something almost unheard of in Congo. Besides that we teach 60 students in the secondary school which is paid for by the parents. It was their own initiative as it makes it easier for their older children to go to school right where they live instead of having to walk to another school far away. Altogether our school teaches now exactly 500 students.

The teachers and school director received several training courses throughout the year to improve their teaching skills.

>Agriculture
The land around the new school buildings towards the North, which was overgrown with tall elephant grass and bushes, got cleared to prepare it for a new agricultural project easier to guard in the close proximity to the school. One hectare of pineapples are planted and the first fruits have already been harvested – a big joy and encouragement for all.

Besides the blessing of yielding needed food products for the hungry people there, this project is a great hands-on training ground for the older students as our secondary school emphasizes on teaching agriculture, something that can help the students to learn a profession which can feed them throughout their lives.

>Independence
Since November 2015 the Ministry of Education is paying our teachers which we did until then. This is a big step for our school to get it on the road of independence from us, a milestone towards our end goal which is to get the project run without our support one day so we can start another project in another area to help more children get an education which they wouldn’t get otherwise.

This was only possible because we had a chance to meet the Minister of Education personally because of the trouble we had with the big Chief of the area. It turned out to be one of those setups where troubles can turn into a blessing, if we don’t give up. Another big step in direction independence came from the new school committee. They inspired the parents to do something to support the school, in the interest of their children. All parents agreed to give 500 FC (50 Cents) per child per month. This is a big help for the upkeep and running of the school.

>Plans for next year
Finish construction of: a) the third school building, b) the toilets with septic tanks and wash facilities, and c) the Health Center. Plans: a) This Center needs to get set up, staff found, salaries clarified and operating license of the health authorities obtained in order to then put it into service for the whole area. b) We still need proper school benches with desks and c) the agricultural project should get expanded to a bigger area.

>Thank you
Special thanks goes to the German Embassy in Kinshasa who sponsored the materials for the water reservoir, toilets, cement floors and Health Center. Mrs. Manig, the wife of the Ambassador, was braving all the hassles involved in the flights and driving through the bush, the simple food and accommodations in order to visit the project first hand. We are truly grateful for her engagement and the Embassy’s support.

A big Thank You goes to all our faithful donors, sponsors and supporters who make it possible for the children to go to school for free, to pay Jean - our manager on site, the teachers (until just recently), the guards, workers etc. Your support also helps us with the many other running expenses of the project, and since we are fulltime volunteers we are very thankful for those who cover our team’s expenses. Thank you for all your faithful help!

We also thank the many helpers and volunteers behind the scenes, the book keeper, web masters, Facebook designers, translators and all of you who participate actively in this work. You all are our backbone and we couldn’t do it without your help! Thank you so much!

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