As a former US Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo and in subsequent assignments, I have watch CEP and the Djolu Technical College for many years. I have been impressed with their commitment to the local population, their high quality education in health and agricultural and their passion for the preservation of the rain forest environment . I am honored and proud to have just joined their Advisory Board.
CEP offers one of the most cost-effective ways to make a difference in the lives of Congolese young people today. CEO is a careful steward of charitable resources, making each dollar go unbelievably far in a remote corner of the world that urgently needs philanthropic investment. I am deeply satisfied to give, knowing that my donations not only educate future leaders in conservation and agriculture, but help stabilize our climate and rainforest ecosystems as well.
I am a socio-cultural anthropologist and have been working with rural communities in the Territory of Djolu since 2013. I was honoured to join the CEP advisory board in late 2017, having witnessed first-hand how their inspiring work at the ISDR Djolu has changed people’s lives throughout the territory.
I have been supporting Congo Education Partners as a member of the U.S.-based Advisory Board since 2013. I am invigorated by their mission to build capacity for educating future stewards of the Congo rainforest in the DRC! We support Djolu Technical College (ISDR-Djolu), which provides a range of education and training experiences for local students in this extremely remote and poor region. Topics taught range from agricultural sustainability, forest and water management, land use planning and public participation, wildlife conservation, and public healthcare. I have visited Djolu Technical College in person on several occasions and have gotten to know many of the students and staff personally. It has been extremely gratifying to watch how CEP’s support has positively affected the college and broadened its access to resources, from acquiring solar panels and computers to expanding its classrooms for learning. CEP is made up of a terrific and very committed set of folks, and is definitely a non-profit that I am proud to support.
Out of the many thousands of charities in this world, my husband and I have supported CEP for a number of years and we are not disappointed. A couple of reasons we support and respect CEP is it is a true champion for higher education in an extremely remote rural area of DRC. Local educational efforts, especially the establishment of institutions, are often bypassed by most charities because of their extreme remoteness which puts them in a logistically difficult and 'high risk' category. But Djolu Technical College, that CEP supports, is firmly rooted in the region, has credibility among locals and government alike, is gaining strength and is providing an opportunities for solid and practical higher education for aspiring locals who would otherwise miss out.
We also respect the dedication, commitment and vision of those involved in supporting, strengthening and running this amazing College.
My own definition of Capacity Building is 'doing what I can in my world to free up those who can best affect their world'. This is a GREAT charity with dividends that will have a positive impact on local communities, the Congo Basin, DRC and the planet when synced with other developmental and environmental efforts around the world.
I joined the Congo Education Partners (CEP) Board because I believe that education is fundamental to development in Africa, and the application of science and technology are key to making agriculture sustainable. I believe that CEP and Djolu Technical College have a critical role to play in community development and in increasing food security in Djolu Territory through its academic and practical programs that reach out to farmers.
I feel it is important for individuals like us to do our part to stave off climate change and keep our planet healthy for future generations. One way we can do that is to support the health and safety of our world's rainforests. CEP supports Djolu Technical College to educate community leaders, advocates, and conservation specialists to protect the Congo River Basin Rainforest, its people and animals. Djolu Technical College is also training nurses who are providing much needed health care to the people of the area.
I believe conserving the Congo Rainforest is vital for not only saving biodiversity, natural resources and the populations that depend upon it but for slowing down climate change and it's unfortunate repercussions. By educating the people that depend on this land, CEP is helping to empower local communities to take action against entities threatening their home, which just happens to be the second largest rainforest on the planet.
“I have followed the CEP and the Djolu Technical College for many years. The College educates local young people in a remote region of the Congo. They provide their students with the skills to enhance the health and agricultural livelihoods of the local population and to protect the fragile rainforest environment. I am a proud supporter of this most important endeavor.”
I have volunteered with CEP for 3+ years, have known Albert Lokasola, the founder of Djolu Technical College, for more than a decade, and previously worked as a development professional in Sudan and elsewhere for 10 years. Based on almost any criteria, CEP and Djolu Technical College are doing community-based rainforest conservation and human development exactly the right way, and deserve to be much more widely known, supported and replicated. They are educating and empowering future leaders, educators, farmers, medical experts and entrepreneurs, creating good jobs while also protecting the Congo rainforest. The College has about 100 graduates so far, and each one is an ambassador for the future. If you want to be inspired, just read the list of their thesis topics on the CEP website, and you’ll know that they are the real deal. Here's the website link http://www.congoeducationpartners.org/theses.html
I've been working with Congo Education Partners for over a year now. The team in the US is dedicated, professional and very knowledgeable, and the team in the DR Congo is just amazing!! Led by an incredible Congolese advocate for the environment and the communities that live in the rainforest, the DR Congo leader, Albert Lokasola, works tirelessly to save rainforest and bring communities together to support higher education and training that leads to long-term indigenous community-fueled conservation. He has put together an extensive and impressive team of environmental advocates, farming trainers and cooperative leaders, and rainforest and bonobo reserve leaders that are not only local but highly trained and educated. How did they get this education? By attending Djolu Technical College, also founded by Mr. Lokasola, the only college in the (very large and very rural) region where students can get degrees in conservation, sustainable development, healthcare, and water and forest management. What Mr. Lokasola and his team have accomplished in one of the most impoverished and remote places on the planet is nothing short of miraculous.