A new life, one piece at a time.
Even in Congo, people drive. And in Goma, where barely-functional cars are the norm, many roads are more volcanic rock than pavement, and low-grade fuel arrives after a 750-mile trip in leaky tanker trucks from Kenya and Tanzania, mechanics are essential.
Someone has to repair these cars; from 2007-2012 CAMME trained more than 480 children in the skills they needed to be successful mechanics. Students studied the assembly and disassembly of engines, practiced replacement and maintenance of parts, and learned from local shop owners about the proper management and operation of garages.
DE, 18, came to CAMME from the streets of Goma, where he had turned to petty theft and sniffing glue after being abandoned by his family, who were unable to feed him, let alone send him to school. Through the work of CAMME’s Social Services team, he abandoned his drug habit, began studying mechanics, and began an internship following two years of training in a local garage. He later earned his certification as a professional mechanic.
“I’ve studied for free,” he says, “CAMME helped me to change my life for the better.”
As CAMME shifted to a model more focused on entrepreneurial and formal education, the Mechanics program was phased out, but today young adults in garages across Goma change transmissions and steering columns, supporting themselves and their families thanks to CAMME.