School within a church is a two year old project located in the informal settlement of Kinshasa at a place called PLC Area- Lingwala along Dodoma Avenue.
After going through the Samaritan Strategy Africa’s VISION Conference in 2014, the couple started the school within a church in September 2015. After a VISION Conference training held in their church and where 20 church members, the vision to start a day care for children during leave time was birthed. “We decide to use the chapel; during the week days when the place is normally just closed and with little or no activity. We started by just taking care of children who do not go to school in the church precincts for several months. We started to incorporate literacy lessons during the day care then we came to understand that it was Gods vision and purpose for their lives,” says Lola.
Lola who says she gained financial management skills from undertraining the Women Training programme delivered by Jeff Sikabwe is now the school administrator who does the day to day
The school is gaining trust in the community and Pst Diaku believes that they will get more children coming to the school in the coming year. Most of the children who attend the school are from policeline. Their parents, the policemen and women are poorly remunerated and thus cannot afford to pay the fees for this children in public schools. Most of the police officers earn less than 100 USD per month and thus end up not educating their children. That is why such a seed project serves the populace from poor background who would otherwise remain uneducated due to looming poverty in Kinshasa.
“Parents from poor backgrounds are greatly pleased with this initiative that helps their children access education and there is a difference and positive words from the community,” says teacher Henry who teaches Standard 1.
The church has been of great impact in the community in that they have acquired some acres of land in bat eke island where they do farming. With this piece of land, Pastor Romain plans to get seeds with which they intent to pass on to the mothers of these children in form of microcredit to farm as well as engage in business within Kinshasa.
When they harvest these crops, they share with the community by helping the needy people. The produce mainly include maize and cassava. They visit the needy and share with them as part of loving your neighbor and Pastor Romain points out that my neighbor is the person in need.
The challenges of teacher’s payments has been there but they have trusted God to provide.
“We commenced with 55 children and currently have 3 classes’ nursery, pre unit and standard 1,” says Mrs Diaku who runs the school project.
Mr & Mrs Diaku who are also pastors have 5 children; 4 girls and 1 boy. The first girl is already married and the last born is now aged 11.
Pastor Romain Diaku is mainly focused on pastoral activities and the wife Aimee Lola who is one of the CMS champion in the Women training Programme have interacted with some of the CMS-Africa staff like Karobia Njogu and Dennis Tongoi.
Following one of the wholistic transformation principle of starting from what one has - family plot, Pastor Romaine had started a church - Evangelical Mission Centre for Nations (CMEN) over 20 years back. The church has over 180 members most of them who are very youthful – schools and colleges.
Pst Diaku has a degree in theology from Academies Berea here in Congo.
Now they are 27 due to lack of ability for parents to meet basic needs like uniforms.
Planning for growth
We intent to create another class for next year get more volunteers as teachers as well as get support in form of giving some from the church.
Spiritually, CMEN has recruited young people around here who are member of the church. They have 2 church plants across Kinshasa apart from the main sanctuary.
In 2013, the church visited internally displaced persons in Congo and gave donations of foods and clothing.
Challenges and prayer needs