CAMME’s Blog

Graduation, shaping the DRC’s future leaders

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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.
Arielle1ARIELLE KIZINA
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.

 

 

IMG_3345JEANNE 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 MWAMBA
Patern was in CAMME’s afternoon playgroup for one year before starting at YIA. IMG_3756He 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.

 

JOASHIM CHAMBWE
Joashim was born in Bukavu, and ended up in Goma at 2. IMG_3756He never met his mother, and his dad passed away when he was only 2 years old. He only spoke for the first time one week after starting school at the age of 4. Before that, he would hear people talk, but would never react. CAMME found him on the street, without any care. We brought him into our orphanage when he was 3, last year. While in the orphanage, he was always lonely, didn’t want to speak to anybody and didn’t want to listen to anybody. Other children living in the orphanage with him were very convinced that he was deaf, and he couldn’t really express himself until he was in the circle of other children studying at YIA. It is such a joy for CAMME and for me to see him graduate today, looking and acting happy with so many other happy children. He will be participating in our summer school, which will be full of activities and will give him the opportunity to learn, share and explore with others.
I want to wrap this up by thanking all of you who have encouraged us, to contribute to our efforts, and to connecting us so that we can succeed. We have a long way to go, and this is just the beginning. Two new classrooms are under construction, and we hope to have 200 students ready to join us next year.
Please consider liking our page on Facebook, and browse our website. Follow us on  this new blog. Finally, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to keep children like our scholars happy and in school. Your support can make a difference, both to CAMME, and the children who depend on it.
– Christine Lunanga