|UNICEF and AVSI, strengthening education and health in DRC|
|Wednesday, 19 October 2011 18:48|
Last September, a delegation from UNICEF, UNDP, FAO, and from the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo visited the school and medical center supported by AVSI in the Bunyakiri region. The visitors included the Governor of South Kivu Marcellin Cishambo Rohuya, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator, Fidele Sarassoro, and UNICEF Representative in DR Congo Ms. Pierrette Vu Thi.
The representatives’ visit marked the inauguration of a newly-renovated maternity ward at the Bunyakiri hospital, which is sustained by AVSI and its partners and provides much-needed services to the local population of 135,000 people.
At Mikonzi Primary School, the representatives were met with songs from the students of the school, which has recently been expanded with 10 new classrooms finished last August that accommodate 450 students.
These health and education improvements are part of the UNICEF-funded program PEAR+ (Programme of Expanded Assistance to Return Plus) designed to facilitate the reintegration of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, especially supporting vulnerable children, and to improve stability in the area still recovering from periods of social conflict.
Through the UNICEF program in 2011 so far, AVSI has built a total of 28 new classrooms in 4 primary schools in Bunyariki, South Kivu. This has given the possibility to over 1,200 children to attend school. In addition, the project provides school supplies, formation for teachers and parents and community support. Considering these activities, the AVSI and UNICEF project reach around 12,500 children.