A humanitarian fundraiser is seeking to build a new school in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Kivu Project was started by Dan Torsiello, a high school history teacher in New Jersey, for the children in the rural village of Mushaki.
Torsiello began the project when he traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2021 to donate food to orphanages in the city of Goma. During his trip, Torsiello and tour guide Christian Aganze visited Mushaki and saw the current state of its school.
“It’s not really a school,” Torsiello said. “It’s clapboard and coordinated metal. Not much of a structure.”
To help the village, Torsiello and Aganze formulated a plan to construct a new school with six classrooms, two offices, and four bathrooms.
The Kivu Project intends for the new school to improve the education of Mushaki’s children.
“In sustainable development goals, education has an important part,” Aganze said. “Many students don’t have access to education, mainly when they are in a village like that one.”
Furthermore, the new school is intended to improve the safety of the children by helping them leave the village. Torsiello explained that Mushaki is at risk of being targeted by rebel groups. It’s three hours away from Goma, which has the DRC’s largest United Nations peacekeeping force.
“The road from Goma to the village is not good,” Aganze said. “For people to leave and go look for another place to study is very hard.”
By improving the children’s education, Torsiello hopes they will gain admission to middle and high schools closer to Goma, which will bring them closer to the UN and the DRC military.
“You’re providing them with actual physical safety, besides the wonderful things an education provides,” he said.
Construction on the new school is expected to begin in October and be completed by November. To finance the construction, the Kivu Project is seeking $10,000 from an online fundraiser.
“People ask how they can help,” Torsiello said. “Right now, it’s just finances.”
As of May 23, $9,430 has been donated to the fundraiser.
More information about the Kivu Project can be found on its website.