Our Objective

ADH has been providing humanitarian assistance in various African countries since 2000. After we successfully completed various relief projects in 2005 we have placed the focus of our development cooperation on Congo DRC, specifically on the motor for future changes - the children. The reason for our involvement in the Congo is the great need there. According to the (2013) Human Development Index of the UN, Congo DRC has the world's lowest living standard. The objective of ADH can be summarized with the following keywords: -Help for the rural population, -development of educational institutions, - the supply of good and free schooling opportunities, - help for self-help by involving the local population, - long-term guidance and sustainability of the projects and establishing job possibilities.

  • Making education possible

  • Sustainability

  • Rural development

The central goal of ADH is to make a good education possible!

Education Unites

Providing an education can easily be described by the slogan "Helping people to help themselves". However, ADH will not only build schools, to eventually leave them to themselves. ADH attempts to develop a sustainable school operation, so that one day ordinary school life will be possible without our support and supervision! Many aid projects fail once the outside help is omitted. For this reason we involve the local population very early with the planning and procedure. We believe that positive changes can only effectively bear lasting fruit if the local population takes charge of the responsibility.

Child labor hinders scholastics

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as in many other underdeveloped countries, education is not self-evident. Without functioning insurance systems (such as pension, health insurance and worker’s compensation) in these poverty stricken countries, children are unfortunately often considered to be a necessary, if not the most important, source of income in order to ensure the survival of their families. Although many children must work from a young age, even if only family related such as getting water, preparing food or looking after younger siblings, real child labor should not be underestimated. Over a quarter of Congolese children between 5 and 14 years of age are employed as child laborers. We believe that in rural areas the amount of child laborers is even a lot higher. [2] Child labour makes it very difficult to ensure a consistent and useful education. That is why it is not surprising that approximately half of the children in the Congo that are old enough to go to school do not. [3]

Overcoming obstacles: No longer school fees

Perhaps the biggest hindrance for the children’s school attendance is the additional burden of insurmountable school fees, that is why we abstain from financing the School this way. This is not common here and to be honest the only other schools we know of that do not charge school fees are the ones in refugee camps. ADH relies on external financial sources for the funding of the school so as to enable as many children as possible to attend school. Extreme poverty should not be an obstacle for parents to let their children attend school, but rather the reason why they should. A good comprehensive education is not only crucial to the future of the children, but also for the entire country!

Developing the potential of the children

There is great potential in so many of the children which can only be fully effective, if it is supported accordingly. In order to improve the future prospects of the children (and therefore also those of their families), ADH has made the possibility of a good education and training its main goal. We organize the hiring of qualified teachers and provide appropriate school supplies. Herein we abide by the state-prescribed curriculum. However, in our school, French is taught since the first grade. This should provide the children with more and better alternatives in their further training.

Lasting school buildings – not taken for granted

To provide a good education, we wish to establish spacious, bright classrooms, with a rainproof roof and solid foundations and walls, for which the locals are very grateful and are proud of. In contrast to the prevailing rural construction methods, the school building is designed to last for a long time. The conventional small dwellings in the rural area of West Kasai mostly consist of only a wooden scaffolding with clay and straw roofs. These less sturdy materials must be renewed every year, largely due to heavy rain falls and the infestation of termites. By using our construction method with our school buildings, we like to leave something that lasts for the local population and especially the young people. That is why ADH uses weatherproof and stable materials, such as bricks, which we manufacture on site. We build solid and permanent brick buildings, so that the children are safely housed and the school has a longer and better future

[1] UN - Human Development Index (2013)

[2] MICS 2010 Study - Child labor in Congo

[3] Unicef - Education in Congo

Image Gallery
Testing pupils in class.Second finished school building made out of bricks.Kids often has to work - babysitting.Kids often has to work - field work.First day in new school.Kids singing in front of school buildings.School class inside of temprary school building.Now we have 300 students.Building the school - brick transporter.

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An early focus on the sustainability of a development projects is critical for the long-term success!

The key is cooperation

Our projects aim for the long-term continuance of positive changes. To achieve this, an early involvement of the local population is especially crucial. Positive awareness of the project can only develop through gradual acquisition of responsibility by the local population. With their acceptance rises and falls the long-term success of the project. For only as long as the majority of the population accepts the school as their own, for which they then must assume joint responsibility, can the project be continued in the long term sense of ADH - even when we eventually slowly withdraw and concern ourselves with other projects.

Independence through participation

In order to achieve early transfer of the responsibility, we have set up a committee consisting of the most important and competent local representatives. For example, the committee at our project in Mushapo consists of the two chiefs (village heads), the local manager of ADH, the school director and a representative of the parents. The main task of the committee is to oversee and smoothen out adjustments for the entire project. Also, it allows us to work directly with the local population and respect the traditional tribal culture.

Sustained financing through agriculture

To sustain school services our school project is coupled with an agricultural project. This parallel operation of agriculture should contribute to long-term funding for school operations. Besides the financial aspect, the agricultural project also includes a sustenance aspect. Through the systematic cultivation of essential foods, the basic needs for the direct surroundings can be met. In addition, specific training opportunities are offered, for both adults and children, around the professional agriculture. A positive side effect of educational and agricultural projects is the creation of new jobs for the local population.

[1] UN - Human Development Index (2013)

Image Gallery
Meeting of the parents.Meeting of the committee.Growing pineapple.Pineapple bycicle transporter.Official registration of our school.Growing manioc field.Planting seeds.

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ADH attempts to counter the advancing urbanization!

Aid is concentrated on places with the biggest populations

More than two thirds of Congo's population live in underdeveloped rural areas. [2] However, development cooperation in the Congo focuses mainly around the capital Kinshasa, with the exception of the east of the country, where most of the media attention is. The rest of the country is pretty much left to itself, especially the population in remote rural regions. There, they lack even the simplest infrastructure such as properly maintained roads. Because of this, vital goods are, mainly due to the cost of transport, extremely expensive. A bag of cement in the capital Kinshasa, for example, costs $ 14, while the same bag of cement in Tshikapa about 1000 km away already costs $ 40 U.S. (as of Jan 2014). It is therefore understandable that most of the resident relief/development organizations are attracted to the more accessible and safer areas with a better developed infrastructure.

Increasing urbanization

In the remote rural areas of the country life for people is very difficult and marked by extreme poverty. As a consequence there has been a large rural migration from the land which has a tendency to rise (the annual urbanization rate is estimated to be 4.2% between 2010 and 2015). [3] With hope of a better life, people are moving from the countryside into the big cities. Overpopulated areas, such as Kinshasa with 10 million inhabitants, [4] are already extremely over-burdened, but continue to grow due to the "influx of refugees" from the rural country, and so the already large problems of big cities are multiplied. For the new arrivals from the country-side the cities fulfill their promise of a better life only in the rarest of cases. In Congo the estimated unemployment rate (persons with no regular income) is currently at around 80% (as of Jan 2014). But also for families with fixed wages the income is often not sufficient. For example, the average monthly salary of teachers in rural areas is currently $ 60 (as of Jan 2014). About 80% of the population has less than $ 1.25 available every day. [5]

Focus on rural regions

How can we attempt to counteract this trend of urbanization in the Congo, unless we tackle it at its source? We have recognized the great need for help in the rural areas and have decided to begin there. We would like to give the people new perspectives on their lives and bring about change for them in their area, especially for the children so that they have a better future. Our daily motivation is the heartfelt wish to be able to give these children a better chance in the world. At the same time we want to be a positive example to other Organizations and encourage them to engage in the inner country as well because an increase of humanitarian aid for the rural areas is of immense importance for the sustainable development of the entire country. We must keep in mind that, trying to create positive change for the rural population in a poor country like the Congo - in spite of all difficulties and obstacles - is not hopeless, wishful thinking. We would like to emphasize this with the example of William Wilberforce: To stop the British slave trade appeared in the 18th century a pretty hopeless feat. Nevertheless, through his incessant pursuit William Wilberforce was finally able to obtain the abolition of slavery in the British Parliament.

[1] UN - Human Development Index (2013)

[2] CIA – Congo: Urbanization

[3] CIA – Congo: Yearly rate of urbanization

[4] CIA – Congo: Kinshasa population

[5] BMZ – Wages in the Congo

Image Gallery
Live without electricity - wood fire.Typical scene in Kinshasa.View on Kinshasa.Typical shop.Street in Kinshasa.Usual infrastructure problems.Usual transportation vehicle.Problems of Kinshasa - pollution.

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 The poor infrastructure makes it difficult for us to break the vicious cycle of poverty and the many obstacles in the interior.

School building for Mushapo


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