The right to education defended by the young reporters from Bunyakiri

Discover the messages of different child reporters in Bunyakiri, who bear witness to the different situations depriving children of this region from their right to education.

In Kando, enrolled children are absent from school

Since the start of the 2014-2015 school year in the Kando primary school in Bunyakiri, over 30 students, girls and boys, are absent from school each week.

These absences are due to the parents requiring their children to babysit the babies at home or to accompany them in the field to the detriment of their schooling. The students themselves cease going to school: they spend their time on the roads, they play, they complain that the teacher is absent that their parents have not yet paid the required school fees or that their uniform is dirty…

Based on this, we are recommending that parents respect children’s right to education. We ask them to stop keeping them busy during hours and days of classes. It is up to the children themselves to live and to claim these rights for the proper preparation of their future, as the child who is absent from school creates a danger to himself and to society at large.

School is the key to the future.

The young reporters of Kando school : Babetu, Nilivyo, Sifa and Benjamin 

The orphan children of the Kamananga massacre want to study

The 14 May 2002, Kamananga, located in the Kalehe territory in the South Kivu province, suffered a terrible massacre. 32 persons were killed, including 22 women, 7 men and 3 children who were burnt alive. Houses were burnt down and many other goods were pillaged and taken. According to the testimonies of several survivors, who were met by the child reporters of the Lunda Nyamunene primary school, the persons responsible for the massacre were trying to satisfy their vital needs by pillaging.

Since this unfortunate event, 120 children remain orphaned, abandoned to their unhappy fate and have stopped studying due to a lack of financial means.

By reading the 28th article of the Convention on the Rights of the Child we know that each child has the right to education and we ask the State to make primary education compulsory and free for all children.

We are sure that if these 120 orphaned children had local or government support, they could study like so many others and that would reuce their worries.

The child reporters of Lunda school :Abina, Tabita, Dieudonné and Mapenzi

 Educating a woman is educating a whole nation

On the 11th October 2014, the world commemorated the Day of the Young Woman. In Bunyakiri/Kambegeti, we deplore the difficult conditions undergone by many girls who do not go to school and who are sometimes forced to expose their bodies.

This situation is caused by the lack of school of girls, the poverty and ignorance of certain parents who do not know the rights of their children and who cannot fulfil their daughters’ needs. In Kambegeti/Bunyakiri girls do not always have the possibility to go to school and finish their studies due to insecurity or poverty. According to article 28 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a child has the right to education whether boy or girl.

We ask parents to play their part in properly educating and supervising their children. Ti the Congolese State we ask that it discharge its responsibilities well, monitor youth and promote the young woman as she is the mother of tomorrow.

The girl child reporters of Bunyakiri : Irène, Chikuru, Alice and Céline

The result of our advocacy action

The month of August 2014 was the period for advocacy actions by the child reports of the Lwana school in the Kambegeti village in Bunyakiri. This advocacy was organised towards parents with school-aged children (six years) who gave up on their studies the previous year.

During our advocacy action, which consisted of sensitising the parents door to door in the Kambegeti village, we insisted on article 28 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which stipulates that each child has the right to education.

In September 2014, during the start of the new school year, 37 unschooled children were registered by their parents who understood the importance of education. We, child reporters, are very happy to have reached our goal: the school principal told us that we were now 287 students instead of 250 the previous year.

The child reporters of Lwana school: Saidi et Akili

Context

Those pieces of advocacy were written by the young reporters fron Bunyakiri region, who benefitted from the program “Learning for Peace”.

This program is born thanks to a partnership between UNICEF, the Government of the Netherlands and the national government of 14 participants countries, including the DRC. It aims at strengthening policies and practices in education for peacebuilding. In DRC, the main achievements of the program are :

the promulgation, on 11 February 2014, of the law on National Education, stipulating that peace is one of the objectives of education,

the development of training modules on peacebuilding for teachers professionnal development,

the training of 1000 schools directors, 2000 members of school management boards and 500 staff of education, local leaders and children.

the broadcast, in 12 schools, of community radio programs for peace,

an assistance to 120 leaders of teenagers clubs and sports clubs to develop and implement peace’s initiatives,

the set up of 60 local mediation committees whose mission is to make schools, zones of peace for more than 18,000 children.

Discover the faces of young reporters’ supervisors, trained thanks to the “Learning for Peace” program :

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 Translated from French by Anais Joseph.

Photo : UNICEF RDC 2013 Brett Morton/UNICEF RDC 2014 Justine Mounet

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Enfants Reporters de Bunyakiri

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