Last year, our World Projects Appeal introduced you to the children of the Yetsi region in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where Bishop Toussaint Iluku MSC was raising funds to build a school in an area of extreme poverty and hardship.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is ranked as one of the poorest countries in Africa. The diocese of Bokungu-Ikela, located in the north-west of the Democratic Republic of Congo, was founded by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in 1961 and is an area of real and pressing need.
The population depends on agriculture and livestock for their livelihoods, and on a day-to-day basis, they live hand-to-mouth in precarious conditions.With the diocese coming up to its 60th anniversary, Bishop Toussaint and MSCs in the region are shining the spotlight on the lack of educational facilities in the region.
The Catholic Church is one of the main sources of hope for struggling families in the area, particularly when it comes to education, and our MSCs are doing their best to lay the groundwork to give local children,and generations to come, hope for the future.
Thanks to the generosity of our mission friends here in the Irish Province following last year’s appeal,Bishop Toussaint and his team were able to fund the construction of a school building in Yetsi.
Work is ongoing on the project; however, the school is sorely lacking in equipment as essential as benches and tables. The children can often be seen studying on the floor due to the lack of the most basic facilities,creating additional challenges for students who already have very little, and who are desperately trying to make the best of what they have in order to build a more hopeful future.
Some of the pupils bring their own chairs from their homes. However, many of these children are from homes that have so little, they don’t even have a chair to bring to school.Those children who don’t have them, they have the
floor, where they sit down and follow the teacher.”
– Bishop Toussaint MSC