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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. *Construction of a new 6-classroom building is underway 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

33 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.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I spend a lot of time thinking and writing about climate change, and it can sometimes be draining. But in an uncertain world, supporting the multifaceted work of Congo Education Partners and Djolu Technical College gives me hope. With organizations like CEP and schools like Djolu Technical College out there, we can make this uncertain world more equitable and livable for everyone. CEP and Djolu Technical College’s work runs the gamut — their impacts are local and global, social and environmental, short-term and long-term. Supporting CEP over the years is some of the best money and time I’ve ever spent.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The founder Ingrid Schulze is a dear friend and I have been a sustaining member for a few years now. To save the rain forest in the Congo we need to educate the people there in the importance of sustainable farming and forest management. CEP is doing just that.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband and I have contributed to Congo Education Partners for many years because it supports Djolu Technical College in practical ways that truly make a difference - for students, for graduates, and the college as a whole to maintain its presence as a credible institution in this remote region of DRC.

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6

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.

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1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Congo Education Partners provides such an important service to both the local community and toward our shared climate future. I applaud the work they do and hope they can continue it well into the future!

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4

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.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

CEP is brilliantly conceived as a partner organization to the people living in the Congo. The organization provides support based on the leadership and decisions made by the people who are directly affected. I am very happy to be a donor, helping to empower girls with education so they can be the leaders and protectors of their home in the rain forest.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have seen first-hand the ways in which CEP transforms the lives of young people in rural Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). By funding the only accredited higher learning institution in Tshuapa Province (DRC), they provide vital opportunities for learning and employment to rural people seeking to gain qualifications to help them manage their resources and protect their ancestral forests.

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5

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.

1 jnackone

Advisor

Rating: 5

Congo Education Partners (CEP) is fueled by volunteers who donate their time to help support ISDR-Djolu, a small rural college in remote Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) focused on three important pillars: agriculture, environmental conservation, and health. Our Advisory Board has been growing and it is exciting to witness so much enthusiasm to help this college. Despite challenges with the pandemic, CEP has had a productive year, helping to support students with scholarships, constructing a new 6-classroom building, continuing providing an Internet connection for teaching and learning, and ensuring salaries for the college's professors and staff. Education of these Congolese students is critical to protecting the Congo Basin rainforest, the world's second largest rainforest. I highly recommend this organization!

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3

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.

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2 saraegomez

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with CEP for more than a year and a half now (and have been supporting them for many years). I do it because I believe in the work they do, because I am inspired by the dedication and passion of those I work with. As someone who gets to see the inner workings of the organization I can attest to the high level of integrity and commitment of the staff. I also see the difference that Djolu Technical College is making not only for the students and faculty/staff, but for the communities surrounding the college and the future of our planet. 

I have worked with many nonprofits over the years but none where I can see such a direct and tangible impact. These impacts include educating local young men and women to become leaders in their communities and stewards of the Congo Basin rainforest, empowering women in the communities surrounding Djolu through education and outreach (as well as women's scholarships at the College), expanding access to health and increased food security in surrounding communities, and more... As someone who works in public health and specifically women's health and rights, I can tell you that CEP understands what it takes to create truly sustainable positive change by supporting and building local communities and is truly making a difference. 

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5

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.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Congo Education Partners (CEP) is a small non-profit helping to support Djolu Technical College (DTC) located in the Congo River Basin. I continue to be impressed with the steady growth of the College in educating students to become leaders in their community, slowly expanding the infrastructure and serving the people in the surrounding rural area. This partnership aims to protect one of the world's largest rainforests, which stores more carbon than the Amazon and Asian rainforests combined, and to preserve its rich biodiversity.

The Covid pandemic has added to CEP's challenges as well as DTC's. The College is in a remote area which complicates the logistics of hauling in construction materials; but, the leadership is managing with the ongoing assistance of CEP. They took advantage of a pause in student attendance to make 100,000 bricks for a new classroom building. The bricks were made one by one from termite mound earth by local workers and work-study students during the Covid-related school closures in 2020.

CEP is determined to continue helping educate young stewards of the rainforest who are leading climate change mitigation by influencing rainforest carbon storage and preserving the rich biodiversity of the rainforest. This affects all of us, including generations to come.

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3

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.

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1

Board Member

Rating: 5

When I first learned of CEP I was so impressed with their mission and Djolu Technical College (DTC) my family established a scholarship. Since then I have become more involved and continue to be impressed with the global impact this small group is making with little fanfare and minimal resources. CEP has been led 100% by volunteers, no paid staff. I know my donation will reach the Congo and not be eroded by administrative costs. Local leadership is the key to rainforest conservation. DTC is founded and led by Congolese. I know my donation will be used to educate and empower local stewards that will in-turn create a sustainable and resilient conservation program for the Congo Basin rainforest.

2 Maya Canyou S.

Donor

Rating: 5

Supporting CEP helps people in a vastly underserved region directly combat the climate crisis by giving them tools to protect their carbon sink and biodiversity. Djolu Technical College, which CEP supports, is the only college of its kind in this region of the globally important Congo Basin Rainforest. In an area with more natural capital than cash, CEP trains students in forestry and ecological conservation, sustainable development and nursing/public health. This helps students become local leaders, contributing to a more sustainable local economy and protecting the rainforest. There are lots of good organizations out there, but few bring together as many important ways we know of to build a better world as this one does.

2 smahaley

Board Member

Rating: 5

I continue to support Congo Education Partners' work for three reasons:
- Integrity of the project and staff: Both here in the US and in the DRC, the staff are dedicated, capable and trustworthy, and the accountability for impact is there.
- Mission components: Working to provide higher education creates economic opportunities as well as creates a foundation of knowledgeable, capable local experts who will care for the rainforest - for all of us.
- Impact: We receive the quarterly reports, photos and videos - along with copies of student thesis monographs. The evidence of impact is clear - both for the students, their families AND for the local communities who benefit from their expertise.

Terrific project.

Previous Stories
6

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.

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2

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.

5

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
6

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.

5

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.

3

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.

6

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.

9

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.”

7

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

8 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.