Notre Dame Institute is a reference school in the city of Uvira and receives a sufficient number of students. The school is experiencing a very serious problem related to the lack of classes and the lack of toilets meeting health standards. This school has only eight classrooms for a number of more than 814 students enrolled.What makes that the school organizes two vacations.
In 2014 the DRC Social Fund through the World Bank funded project was provided funds for the construction of 6 additional classrooms and 6 toilets which will accommodate the 814 children in one vacation. The construction work started in March 2017.
CERC is an independent organization that works with young people to build integrity and good governance in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. With the help of young community monitors, CERC ensures that the funds allocated for community projects are properly distributed so that the projects benefit the intended beneficiaries. CERC’s training on Community Integrity Building (CIB) enables monitors to assess quality and availability of equipment and infrastructure, performance of the teaching team, collect evidence, conduct beneficiary surveys, verify findings as well as engage with stakeholders such as implementing agencies, contractors, head teacher, parent committee and teachers association to fix problems.
In April 2018, the monitors trained by CERC discovered that there were several serious problems with the project’s implementation. With training they received they have been able to detect that the project period was depassed. It was planned that the work lasts only 90 days to allow students to use the buildings in September 2017 as stated in the contract.
In April 2018, the monitors organized a meeting with the key stakeholders. This meeting was attended by the Construction company, local development committee, the headteacher, teachers and student leaders from Notre Dame Institute.
According to the construction agency, the project was delayed because the community members does not respect the clauses of the contract. It was agreed in the project contract that community members contribute 10% worth $ 10,000 in cash or building materials.
During the meeting, the local development committee agreed to collect the 10% from resident. and the contractor agreed to the demands and pledged to finalise the project within the additional time agreed with the Joint Working Group.
The classrooms and toilets were completed in August 2018. Thanks to the training they were received from CERC, young people were able to identify and solve problems with a project being built in their community.
Centre de Recherche sur l’Anti-Corruption have been an Integrity Action partner since 2017. During this time, CERC have trained 300 youth as community monitors. The monitors have overseen 21 infrastructure projects and education services valued at around $32,000,000. Their interventions have led to the resolution of 20% of identified problems. CERC and the Integrity Club members’ monitoring and constructive engagement has improved services for around 10,000 people
Also published on Medium.