Monday, May 4, 2009

Mushenyi Schoolhouse Gets a Roof

A school gives these boys hope for a better future.

From previous blogs, you may remember Mushenyi, the remote mountain village that needed help to finish its schoolhouse.

My heart went out to this village, because there are only elders and children left here. Over the years, maurading armies have stolen everything of value, including the young men and women.

Now the elders, who are mostly women, worry they will lose the remaining children. Without an education, the only future for boys is to become bandits and rebels. The girls will be dragged into the bush, victims of sexual, gender based violence (SGBV).

A school can change all this!

Senator Mubalama and I made two trips to the village in April. Thanks to generous donations from people like yourself, I was able to contribute enough to finish this project.

Preparations for construction had already begun when we arrived. Long eucalyptus poles had been collected for the roof transits and stacked near the schoolhouse shell.

When we returned 10 days later, the roof was almost finished. What a beautiful sight it was, glimmering in the sunlight!

The builders, architect (r.) and small friend.

The builders wanted to finish the roof before our return, but the rain prevented that. They assured us there was enough money to buy the sheet metal needed to complete the roof.

Gunilla, a therapist from Sweden, shows off the building from the inside.

Woman to my right is the school teacher; the Chief stands next to her, the is Senator to my left.

We admired the building, then stood happily for photographs in front of the schoolhouse.

This may seem like a small accomplishment in a country, on a continent, with so many problems. Yet I believe that change begins with small steps, one at a time, grassroots to grassroots. Both Senator Mubalama and Dr. Roy, an internist from Nyangezi, grew up in this remote area before the war. Who knows what will be nurtured in this small schoolhouse, given peace and some time, on a mountainside in the jungles of Congo. . . .

With love and gratitude,

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