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Congo Education Partners

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Environment, Forest Conservation, International, International Agricultural Development

Mission: Our mission is to improve people's lives and save rainforest through local higher education.

Results: Congo Education Partners (CEP) is the sole international partner of Djolu Technical College (DTC), the only accredited technical college in a huge, remote rainforest region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. DTC provides local people with knowledge, tools and strategies needed to develop sustainable livelihoods and preserve their rainforest for future generations. IMPACTS OF OUR WORK: *DTC offers three majors: sustainable rural development, forest conservation, nursing and public health. *~100 students enrolled annually. *Eleven students defended thesis monographs and graduated in 2020. *Two teaching assistants received full two-year scholarships to obtain teaching licenses and returned to teach at DTC. *Twelve female students received full scholarships to attend DTC. *Regular DTC women’s mentoring program established. *Agricultural extension staff conducted train-the-trainers workshops and provided improved rice varieties to 1500 farmers in region. *DTC computer center provides internet access for students and faculty. *Regular DTC educational programming and outreach on local community radio station. *On-campus secondary feeder school. *Foundation construction is complete and 100,000 bricks made by work-study students for a new 6-classroom building that will allow College to grow to 400 students.

Target demographics: people in Djolu region who are stewards of region’s wildlife and rainforest

Direct beneficiaries per year: 100 college students and over 1500 farmers and families.

Geographic areas served: Democratic Republic of Congo, Tshuapa Province

Programs: higher education, forest and wildlife conservation, farming cooperatives and training, community development, and healthcare

Community Stories

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a donor to Congo Education Partners because I’ve seen how Djolu Technical College is changing people’s lives for the better while helping to protect the Congo rainforest and the planet. I feel like I get a better payoff from my donations to CEP than from any other nonprofit I contribute to.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

If you are excited about supporting local communities and access to education in the Congo rainforest, this is a great nonprofit to support! I have been a member of the Advisory Board since 2013 and have watched it grow. The organization is very committed to helping Djolu Technical College (ISDR-Djolu) provide scholarships and training opportunities for students who want to learn from the college’s accomplished teachers in subjects ranging from environmental conservation, agricultural sustainability, forest management, and public healthcare. With no overhead, your donations to CEP go directly to the school and make a big difference to provide wider access to learning resources and scholarships.

Previous Stories
5

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of Congo Education Partners and its partner, Djolu Technical College, in DRC since its inception in 2013. Congo Education Partners and Djolu Technical College are working hard to meet the challenges of climate change through education, research and community service. Supporting these efforts is something concrete I can do to improve our global environment.

Our mission is to reduce poverty and decrease pressure on the rainforest and wildlife in this region, which encompasses vast swaths of intact rainforest and all or part of five nature reserves. Rainforest conservation efforts can only succeed with well-educated local leaders and professionals who care about local communities, and have the knowledge and skills necessary to promote sustainable agriculture and conservation of the natural environment.

DTC’s students learn about climate change and protecting biodiversity. They incorporate what they learn in extension services, public school education, and community engagement programs.

I am especially proud of the focus on building the capacity of female faculty and increasing the enrollment of women students. Female DTC graduates are equipped to work with local and international conservation and development organizations, to train local farmers in sustainable agriculture and forest conservation, and to bring healthcare to vulnerable mothers and children in remote areas. Women represent 73% of farmers, and produce 80% of food crops for household consumption. Through the College’s Lokangi Research and Extension Program, women are introduced to improved seeds, technologies, and sustainable farming techniques, thereby enhancing their productivity and incomes.

Previous Stories
4

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

I am excited to be able to lend my support to Congo Education Partners, which is preparing young people in one of the poorest regions of the world to meet their communities’ needs for public health, sustainable farming, and forest conservation.

They have assembled a talented and visionary team to lead the college and develop these students’ knowledge and skills. Charitable resources are cost-effectively applied to leverage these local talents to achieve steady and sustainable growth year after year.

CEP offers donors all over the world a way to participate directly in preserving this vital rainforest to prevent climate change, and in protecting the wildlife and communities that inhabit it. I feel privileged to personally play a direct role in achieving goals that are vital to the people of Djolu and also to the rest of us who share this planet.

Previous Stories
5

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

CEP connects people on two continents in an endeavor to elevate the socioeconomic status of the people in the Congo region while protecting one of the most sensitive and significant ecosystems in the world. Climate change is real and will involve united efforts to mitigate its impacts. CEP brings science, culture, scholastics and compassion into one sphere of influence to advance the human condition and a sustainable environment. I am humbled and honored to be associated with this organization and its compelling vision.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been following and supporting CEP for the past few years, and recently began working with them on a volunteer basis. CEP is doing amazing work and supporting long-term positive change to protect the Congo River Basin and its local communities. I have always been impressed with its strategy of supporting higher education for local communities to become stewards of the rainforest. I have studied ecology and conservation and worked for more than 15 years in global public health and have seen firsthand how essential it is to meaningfully engage the local population in conservation, while at the same time supporting local efforts in poverty alleviation, gender equity, and education. CEP does all of these things, and truly understands that all of these efforts must go hand in hand in order to succeed.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am continually impressed by CEP's tireless commitment to supporting Djolu Technical College in its efforts to provide high quality educational opportunities and agricultural training to the people of Djolu and the surrounding rural area. The students who benefit from its scholarships and programming— particularly Congolese women — have opportunities to become leaders in health and conservation, serving their own communities and protecting rainforest that is vital to the health of the entire planet. CEP ensures that this programming can continue and expand to meet the needs of future generations of young leaders.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been donating to Congo Education Partners for a number of years and, having been steeped in 'Aid & Development' for many more years, I can honestly say that CEP and Djolu Technical College it supports in the DRC are doing a great job with the funds that have been entrusted to them. I have no doubt that a cadre of professional and committed graduates from the college will positively impact their spheres of influence and be a force for positive change in DRC.

Previous Stories
6

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

CEP combines the critical role of supporting practical higher education in a region of need with the also important goals of promoting environmental awareness and protection of vital ecosystems and sustainable living. The remoteness of the region, the difficult environment, and the limited communications make CEP's tasks challenging. The passions of board members and donors are more than equaled by the Djolu students and community. There is no question that the concept of the global community is at work here.

4 smahaley

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Congo Education Partners for three years now. I LOVE this project: It is the perfect combination of work that provides education, learning, economic opportunity and critical conservation of one of Earth's biggest rainforests. The team in Djolu are committed and amazing - and the students are studying everything from soil and water conservation to nursing and public health. Djolu Technical College is a growing island of opportunity for people who are eager to learn more, grow more, and sustain their world (and ours). Oh - and the Women's Leadership Pipeline program.... Amazing.

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Congo Education Partners is very thoughtfully conceived and very well managed. Blending the provision of much-needed higher education with rural economic need and environmental focus, CEP works in the nexus of these points to create opportunities for the Congolese while working to sustain the second largest rainforest (and sustainer of our planet) on Earth. My focus as a member of the Board is in the application of new technologies for programming offered at the college, and in connecting partners in the technology and education space to advance this very worthy cause. A great team, a great organization, a great cause. I'm excited for the future of the Djolu Technical College!

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

“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.”

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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

7 ariel4congo

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.