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UNICEF Director Visits AVSI in DR Congo
Thursday, 09 March 2006 00:00

At the end of February, the heads of three UN relief agencies—UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, UN World Food Programme Executive Director James Morris, and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres—took a six-day tour in the Great Lakes Region of Eastern Africa. Their stops included the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Rwanda. The first joint mission of its sort, this effort reflects an understanding that greater coordination of humanitarian assistance and protection is necessary to make a real difference in the quality of life and future potential of these populations. The trip came one month following the UN Security Council’s public debate on peace in the Great Lakes Region and expressions of grave concern and commitment to support the people and nations of this region (see AVSI-USA News Volume 6, February 2006). In a joint statement, the three commissioners stated, “We have clearly heard their message: ‘Don’t abandon us at this crucial time and risk a return to the bloody nightmare that we lived through for so many years.”


During their stay in DR Congo, the team paid a visit to the Maman Yemo School in Baraka, South Kivu, which AVSI, as a key partner of UNICEF in emergency education, has been supporting with a comprehensive support package. Assistance includes school and latrine rehabilitation, teacher training, provision of textbooks and school supplies for teachers and students. The team’s visit to AVSI’s site in the eastern part of DR Congo (close to the border with Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi, is a positive sign that this region will receive increased attention in the future. 


AVSI works in the two regions of North Kivu and South Kivu in the area of educational support.

Renovation and Rehabilitation of schools: short term interventions to restore or install roofing, floors, blackboards, water tanks, and latrines, and where needed the renovation of the walls in wood or cement, depending on the environment of the school.

Distribution of Teaching and Learning Material: AVSI distributed UNICEF Kits for students teachers and recreational equipment.

Distant Support Program: this is a long term intervention that supports the child in his/her educational path (by providing school requirements, providing after school programs and improving quality of teaching—teacher skill training and resources—and promoting recreational and psychosocial activities) and supports his/her family by improving their economic status.

Total Beneficiaries in 2005: 23 Schools, 5803 children and 131 teachers       

Total Beneficiaries in 2005: 439 Schools, 69,049 children, and 1,614 teachers