Education is one of the greatest gifts a parent can unconditionally offer their children. It is one of the fundamental rights that everybody should have access to, especially children. Not every kid has a parent or what they need to go to school in the world. This is the case in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and many other underdeveloped countries that I have visited.
Nelson Mandela said that “education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.’’ At CAMME, we believe in the power of education.
CAMME offers that opportunity to the children that we take care of, unconditionally. Today marks an important day for us at as it is the last day of our first academic year at Youth Inspirations Academy (YIA). Today, we graduated 12 children in the kindergarten section. I was so inspired seeing this that I felt like it was even time to publish this first blog.
Youth Inspirations Academy started as a pilot project this year, and has been a huge success. It has brought joy to so many children, and to children receiving full scholarships in particular.
I started CAMME in 2007 with the goal to bring back joy and hope to children who had lost it. Since CAMME started, we have trained more than 1,500 children from incredibly difficult circumstances. We have given 52 school scholarships to children, and 2 scholarships to our staff. Read more about our work at throughout our site.
CAMME believes that every child can succeed and make a difference in the world, given the right tools. This belief drives everything we do.
With the launch of YIA, I knew that this year was different. I wanted to change our strategy by focusing on something longer terms, with Goma becoming more stable than it’s been in many years. In the past, we focused more on emergency response, in response to the crisis in Goma. With new stability came two new projects, YIA, and the “Farm and Feed Project” (more on that in the near future)
I’m so proud of our graduates, and I’d like you to meet a few of them.
Born in Goma, Arielle, 5, grew up in a very poor family. Her family approached us and needed some help to get their children in school. After learning about her family and background, we found that she had all the criteria to be a CAMME scholar. Today she graduated with all the others and is ready to start summer school soon, and elementary school in September.
JEANNE D’ARC CHAMBWINE
Born in Bukavu and now living in Goma, Jeanne d’Arc lost her parents when she was only 10. CAMME was able to find her when she couldn’t afford to pay school fees for her studies. For the last 3 years, she has been participating in our after school activities, and has become a talented painter. She’s living at CAMME’s Home Away From Home Orphanage, but will be moving to join her new foster Congolese family in early September.
Patern was in CAMME’s afternoon playgroup for one year before starting at YIA. He stood out among other children and I see huge potential for his future. Originally from Goma, his parents could never afford to put him in school because his family was very poor. After our staff identified him, and heard his story, we found out that he was already late to start nursery school, as he was already 4. We brought him to YIA, and gave him all the accessories and tools he needed to succeed. He was always first of his class and was always inspiring others with his hard work and commitment to succeed. At his graduation, he gave a very moving speech and inspired every parent who came to our ceremony.