After a long day coordinating renovations at UCBC’s new “city campus,” UCBC alum and current Work Program Coordinator, Stephen Salama, congratulated close to 100 UCBC students and staff who participated in the special work program last weekend. He ended the day by sharing images of what they accomplished and left them with this message: “Together we will get there.”
Over the past few weeks, the CI community in Congo has worked tirelessly to prepare a new and more secure second campus located in Beni’s city center. The relocation will enable UCBC students to begin classes for the 2018-19 academic year. As has been recently reported, the wider Beni Region of North Kivu Province (including the outskirts of Beni) has seen a significant increase in insecurity over the past few months. At the same time, the current Ebola epidemic has yet to be contained and general anxiety is rising in the run-up to national elections scheduled for December 23. These factors together caused a two week delay in the start of the academic year for all universities in the Beni region. Even more, the location of UCBC in Kipriani (a neighborhood on the outskirts of Beni) is not far from recent clashes.
As a result, our leadership decided to relocate many of UCBC’s academic activities to a new location in Beni’s center. In a message to one of our long-time partners, Dr. Honoré Bunduki, Vice Rector of UCBC explained:
“Moving classrooms will give confidence to students and parents to come study and work without being under pressure psychologically, and to focus on their studies. Also, it will allow us to have more students who may be a little bit in doubt or reluctant to join the university because of what is happening currently.”
Though moving classes and some academic activities from the beloved campus is difficult, students and staff know the vision of transformation must continue through the unique education forged through UCBC’s ethos and programs. As important as the UCBC campus has become for their community, it alone does not define the “UCBC family.” United in hope and in the face of adversity, they remain committed to becoming the leaders Congo so desperately needs.
We are very excited about this opportunity, as it will serve UCBC’s immediate needs well during this difficult and stressful time. However, there are additional costs such as rent, renovation, and 10 tents to provide additional classroom space. As our community continues to develop this campus as a place where transformational learning can happen, we are dedicating this year’s GIVING TUESDAY to help acquire the classroom tents. Please join us, as together we work to provide a secure space for the future leaders of Congo!