This week, millions of children in North America are going back to school. But for millions of children in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the opportunity to go “back to school” is often an unrealized dream.
Seven-and-a-half million children in the DRC are not able to go to school due to decades-long instability and conflict. Four million of these children are girls, many of whom are unable to even make it to a classroom because the walk to school takes them through territory controlled by armed militias. The threat of sexual violence is real enough that these girls are forced to make the difficult choice to stay home.
War Child knew how important it was to give these girls a chance at an education. So we developed a ground-breaking interactive radio program where education is delivered over the radio. War Child created a curriculum of educational radio dramas for each of the lessons. Girls no longer had to make that dangerous journey to a classroom. Instead, they could learn in the safety of their own communities with specially-trained teaching assistants who guided them through the work.
This program is helping to change the lives of many students, including 16-year-old Safi: “Before, I could not understand how this education through the radio would work. But now I understand it well and I appreciate it so much. I get a good education from the program. It will help me to get a job when I get my diploma and from there my life will change.”
The initial pilot project concluded in 2017 and the results were very impressive, with pass rates as high as 95 percent. Now, War Child is working with the Congolese Ministry of Education to take the program nationwide and ensure that girls throughout the country will finally have access to a safe education and a chance at a successful future.
Watch this video from the BBC to find out more about our Interactive Radio Instruction program: