Schülerinnen und Schüler in der Sekundarschule Jacques Opangault
(c) arche noVa

Congo - Brazzaville: Republic of Congo: Improving the Learning Environment for Children in Brazzaville

Quiet, hygiene, water for washing hands, a toilet and a safe learning environment: all this is lacking for the students of the Jacques Opangault secondary school in Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo and twin city of the state capital Dresden. The inadequate infrastructure has a negative impact on the children's future. Schoolgirls in particular suffer from the situation, as unsafe toilets during their periods make it difficult for them to attend school and thus stand in the way of gender equality. Together with the local partner organization "Forum pour la promotion des groupes ruraux" (FPGR), we are providing construction measures at the school to ensure greater safety and a better WASH infrastructure (stable water supply, sanitary facilities, hand-washing facilities). With additional educational measures on hygiene, water use and waste avoidance, we also guarantee sustainable positive change.
Congo - Brazzaville
Simple World Map - Author: Al MacDonald Editor: Fritz Lekschas License: CC BY-SA 3.0 ID: ISO 3166-1 or "_[a-zA-Z]" if an ISO code is not available

It is a different everyday school life than we are used to here. The rooms are overcrowded, there is no functioning water supply and no facilities for washing hands, and there are no gender-appropriate and hygienic toilets. A particular problem is also the lack of separation from the neighboring neighborhood. Residents have unhindered access to the school grounds, which endangers the safety of the children and young people and causes a litter problem. For the 2340 students at the Jacques Opangault secondary school in Brazzaville, all this means learning under difficult conditions.

To address these issues and to provide students with a quiet and safe learning environment, we have been involved with a project at the school since March 2022. With structural improvements and affiliated, participatory educational measures, we are creating the basis for students to better develop their potential in the future.

Longest blackboard in the world

The idea is as intriguing as it is effective: why not combine security with practical aspects? On our trip to assess the situation on site, the school administration told us that the greatest need was the construction of a wall around the school grounds. As we pursued the idea together, we realized that it could be used for other purposes as well. Using blackboard paint, we now ensure that the wall on the inside can also be used as a school blackboard for outdoor lessons and relieve the overcrowded classrooms. And also sets the record as the longest blackboard in the world.

Improving WASH infrastructure

No learning without water. To provide students with safe drinking water and a hygienic learning environment, we are improving the water supply on school grounds and building hand-washing stations. We are also renovating the existing sanitary facilities so that they are once again usable and segregated by gender. Especially for schoolgirls who have their period, these are a key prerequisite for learning success. Because if adequate toilets are lacking, they often don't even come to school - which has a lasting and detrimental effect on their career opportunities. So with our project, in addition to the short-term goals of improving the learning environment, we are also ensuring greater gender equality in the long term.

Promoting sustainable development through education

Litter is a problem in the area around the school, as is a lack of knowledge about the sustainable use of water and hygiene. To contribute to a longer-term improvement of the learning environment in the school, the project also includes an educational component in addition to the construction measures. Through participatory workshops, students learn strategies for waste prevention and how to use water more sustainably. In the long term, this guarantees not only a successful improvement of the learning situation in the school, but also improved living conditions in the neighbourhoods. By taking what they have learned back to their parents' homes, the students themselves become multipliers - planting the seeds for sustainable, positive change.

If you would like to be part of this change, please donate to our projects in Africa.

Project Overview

Objective

Improvement of the learning environment through structural measures and promotion of competencies through an affiliated participatory education project.

Target Group

Pupils of the Jacques Opangault Secondary School in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.

Activities
  • Construction of a school wall as a demarcation to the adjacent neighbourhood and its use as a school blackboard by painting it with blackboard paint. 
  • Improvement of the water and sanitation infrastructure 
  • Promotion of competencies in the areas of hygiene, water use and waste avoidance through participatory educational workshops
Duration
2022 (March to December)
Co-operation partners

Forum pour la promotion des groupes ruraux (FPGR)

Donors
  • The project is made possible by funding from the Saxon Youth Foundation in the programme "genialsozial - Deine Arbeit gegen Armut" 2020
  • Donors
Contact
Germany
Torsten Wieland
Abteilung
Kommunikation
Funktion
Cooperations and Fundraising
Telefon
+49 351 481984-15
E-Mail
torsten.wieland [at] arche-nova.org

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