Gilima Primary School

Gilima Primary School 2020

The Gilima Primary School was closed for about five years and only reopened in early 2018 due to the occupation of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the area.

The Gilima Teacher’s Committee approached RainShine to provide financial assistance to rebuild their school in sustainable materials, i.e. hardwood, tin and brick.

This program will be implemented in four phases based around available funding. The first phase involves the manufacture of 10,500 bricks by workers in the local community. This will be the building blocks for three classrooms. The second phase is to lay the foundations and construct the classrooms. On completion of the three classrooms, the first two phases will be repeated again to build the other three classrooms and latrines.

Phase 1 of this project commenced in the last quarter of 2020.

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Kembisa Wildlife Conservation

What does a conservation wildlife program have to do with improving access to education? Preserving endangered species and protecting wildlife programs generates money in communities, which reduces poverty and improves living conditions. Better management of wildlife resources also encourages sustainable land-use planning. The flow on effect is a stronger economy and the development of future resource security in these communities.

The objective of this program in collaboration with DRCongo partners is to reclassify the Epi Hunting Reserve and establish a wildlife conservation program.

Currently the Epi forest is identified as a hunting reserve and is owned in common by the local communities in Kembisa Sector, which includes Epi, Mamili and Amadi. It also borders on the sector of Abarambo and the Madi and Mabanga chiefdoms. The reserve is approximately 9,000 – 15,000 Km2. Around 30 years ago trophy hunting was conducted in this reserve for a number of years by two local entrepreneurs running a Safari company Uéré-Safari, which brought international hunters to the area to specifically hunt the rare Bongo Antelope. The Bongo is classified as: Lower Risk/ Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) – Red List of Threatened Species.

Source: UNHCR map 2018

The Epi Reserve has been abandoned for approximately 15 years and during this period we know the area is threatened by:

  • Poaching, local and international;
  • Illegal fishing;
  • Deforestation;
  • Fragmentation of habitats for emblematic protected species;
  • Armed groups.

In addition the Epi Reserve is strategically placed between two other reserves Bili-Uéré to the north and Rubi-Tele to the south, which provides a corridor to support large animals to pass from north to south.

To launch this program a historic meeting was held on August 24/25 2020 between the local Chiefs and leaders of the area, his Excellency the Provincial Minister of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Sustainable Development of Bas-Uélé, Mr Floribert INGA BEBU; Principle of the l’Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) and Chief Curator Bili- Uéré Reserve, Mr Romain DYANDOGHERE; Administrator of Poko Terrority, Mr Kambili SEBE Jr; and DRCongo RainShine Administrator, Abbé Jean de dieu MIMBUGBE. The outcome of the meeting was the signing of a Free Informed Act of Consent outling a framework for future co-operation for this program.

We are now in the detailed planning phase for this program, with a view to conduct a wildlife survey of the reserve by the end of 2021. We are seeking partners to join with us on this program.

Access to Education

Primary school children Dungu 2011

Education teaches us to write, read, think, and achieve. 3.5 million school age children do not attend school in DRCongo. 2.75 million of those children live in rural areas. And 41% of Congolese girls aged 5 -17 years old are working and only 36% of girls are enrolled in High School.

RainShine Australia’s mission is to improve access to primary and secondary school education for children living in rural areas of Democratic Republic of Congo. The majority of Non-Government Organisations operating in DRCongo currently are doing their work in the larger towns and villages, so there is a need for organisations like RainShine to operate and implement projects in remote areas to improve opportunities for education, health and to build future resource security in communities.

Unfortunately in both the Epi and Mamili villages there is no high school. Children can travel to Amadi, which is 70 kms away to attend high school classes. And there is an actual high school located approximately 400 kms away from Epi in Isiro. However the majority of families in Epi and Mamili are not be able to afford to send their children to these schools. One of RainShine’s long-term projects is to build a high school that can be attended by both Epi and Mamili children.

While some of RainShine team members were involved with the Epi Primary school for a number of years prior to 2016, in that year RainShine took over full responsibility for the Epi Primary school. This school is located in a remote part of northern Democratic Republic of Congo. Currently there are 157 children attending the school with one headmaster and six teachers.

In 2018 RainShine now also supports the Primary school in Mamili, which is about 40 kms from Epi. There are 158 children are enrolled at this school. The Mamili school does have a brick building to hold classes, however it was closed down for a number of years due to not having enough money in the village to pay teachers. Through donations to RainShine, we now provide teachers salaries and school equipment, and some basic medicines eg Malaria test kits and treatment to the Mamili school.

Mamili children with tooth brushes from RainShine supplies

Our annual budget to operate both schools costs $12,000 USD. If you would like to assist this ongoing program then please donate to this specific project, which can be accessed from our main menu.

While both Epi and Mamili primary schools are categorised in DRCongo as private, non-Government schools, RainShine supports our children to sit the Government test each year to determine how they are performing with their education within the province and, we also engage Government Administrators to review our education techniques and school environment to identify improvements.

Children of Epi Primary School with their exercise books

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