Two schools under construction, one in Likasi and another in Kipushi. While the Likasi project was made possible with funding from Brother Edward as General Superior, Kipushi’s benefited from a funding plan decided by current General Superior, Brother Dan Skala.
“As a region, we can only express our sincere gratitude to the entire Congregation for its spiritual and financial assistance,” said Brother Patrick.
The Kipushi school is built in an underprivileged area, where there is no electricity or running water. Despite these conditions, the Brothers desired to live within the community. On the day of the laying of the cornerstone, Gaston Ruvezi, Bishop of the diocese, expressed his joy to see the Brothers initiating such a project in this underprivileged environment.
It all started when Brother Larry was General Superior, and Brothers Crispin and François Kilonda were regional coordinators. By mutual agreement, they bought a plot in Kipushi for further projects: building a school and a community.
When Brother Edward Driscoll became General Superior, he initiated the process of transformation, which made the Congolese region aware that there is a need in education in Kipushi.
Brothers were also concerned with the future of the congregation in Congo, especially about self-financing. On one hand, brothers were aware of the lack of good schools in Kipushi; on the other hand, they were aware of the limited financial means.
After careful reflection, we have resolved to start gradually building a classroom each year. To achieve this, we decided together to start saving brothers Simon-Pierre, Anani, Marc, Jean de la Croix and François Kilonda’ salaries.
In the meantime, the Congregation granted the region a good amount of money, to encourage them in their various self-financing projects; with the funding of the congregation and the salary of the aforementioned Brothers, they found it useful to build first an elementary school in Likasi, on their plot next to our Formation House, with the idea in the mind that the income that would come from this school would serve to materialize the Kipushi project.
Despite these precarious conditions, the Brothers wanted to live with this population. This is what justifies the building of a community right next to the school. On the day of the laying of the cornerstone, His Lordship Gaston Ruvezi, Bishop of the diocese, expressed his joy to see the Brothers initiating such a project in this underprivileged environment. In their discernment with him, the Brothers understood the need to train craftsmen; therefore, they deemed it fit to build a technical school. One problem, however: how to equip a technical school?
A viable technical school needs electricity and water. In addition to these two major needs, there is the fence wall of the school and the community, the workshops as well as the need for a school chapel that can also receive Catholic Christians from the neighbourhood. Once the electricity is installed, there are plans to drill a borehole for the water supply. Electricity will also be beneficial to the neighborhood population, who are already delighted to see the Brothers building a school in their long-forgotten community.
“For us, it is not enough to settle in this poor environment to educate and train its population, but also to find means of substance for our congregation and mission,” said Brother Patrick. “Therefore, we would like to make it a pilot school of Kipushi which can welcome boys as well as girls.”