The GMF School in Kalebuka, DRC, opened its doors in September, 2011, to an inaugural class of 104 girls enrolling in kindergarten and first primary school. In September, 2012, three classes were added, bringing total enrollment at the School to 150 girls. GMF plans to increase enrollment each year until reaching its final goal of 338 girls. This private school will provide a holistic learning experience tuition-free, including uniforms, shoes, school supplies and two healthy meals a day. The curriculum is based on the Belgian school system and is supported by six teachers, one substitute teacher and a director. Rising food prices have made it very difficult for the community to meet the daily nutrition requirements, however the GMF School is committed to ensuring a well-balanced diet not only to encourage an engaged student body and prevent absences due to malnutrition-related illnesses, but also because GMF strongly believes that nutrition is a huge part of the development of the girls. Additional precautions have been taken to sustain the well-being of each of our girls by providing them with four essential vaccinations each. Our vision is to eliminate the barriers that prevent so many girls from exercising their right to a quality education, and sustaining a productive environment for young women to develop the skills and potential to become the leaders of the next generation.
GMF is dedicated to advancing African communities through investing in the education of girls and incorporating an approach inclusive of the community we hope to impact. We greatly value the support and contributions that the people of Kalebuka have made towards this mission, such as actively participating in the School’s construction, helping to maintain the School, helping with security in and around the campus and attending adult education courses taught by our substitute teacher in the School. By empowering those at the grassroots level to take part in their own development, we are creating a sustainable transition towards progress. Through education, girls will cultivate a valuable preparedness towards contributing to solutions for a better future.
- The focus on community empowerment has been the cornerstone of our project through incorporating local expertise, which in the early stages of the School’s construction included the technical contributions of local builders and collaboration of villagers in the brick-making process.
- Weekends at the School will be a time for parents to take classes in basic literacy and vocational training.
- Mothers will be trained in the sewing of school uniforms.
- Over time, we will initiate a school horticulture (permaculture) project that will focus on subsistence production for nutritious meals to be prepared by the School’s canteen. It will also serve as a learning tool to enhance the School’s holistic learning experience.
- A sports field will allow for girls to engage in physical activities, which will contribute to a healthier lifestyle and strengthen character as part of building self-esteem, sportsmanship, commitment and cooperation.