Leaders from The Mission have partnered with Bishop Mugenyi William Bahemuka of Boga to plan and execute a Computer Ministry in church-founded schools across the Diocese of Boga in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Started in May 2013 and funded by Emily Baily—a parishioner from Mission Pawleys—the Computer Ministry trains the best students ages 6-18 in basic computer skills and allows them access to online curriculum resources to enhance their education.
Initial reports were bright after school officials tested the Computer Ministry last year at a school in the diocese equipped with a computer lab. Teachers selected three students from each of the school’s 10 classes, not just for academic performance but for good behavior and active participation in the school’s social and religious activities. School officials then selected six teachers who used the class notes and computer lab to extend the computer training to the whole school.
Upon reviewing the success of these 30 candidates and teachers, the school decided to continue the program for another semester. Teachers claimed the program encouraged motivation and discipline and improved the standard of the school. The chaplain expressed pleasure that many students were now active in chapel activities.
“Since the arrival of the computers, the children have become much more enthused and engaged in the overall life of the school,” says the Rev. Canon Kevin Donlon, who worked with a number of Mission leaders to form the Computer Ministry, aided by funding from Church of the Resurrection in Tampa, where he serves as Rector, Mission Pawleys and others.
The Computer Ministry continues to grow. This spring The Mission provided three new computers to help develop a computer lab in a second school. Their goal is to eventually extend the ministry to all of the diocese’s 31 primary schools and 15 secondary schools.
At the end of the semester currently underway, the pilot school will once again recruit students to participate in the Computer Ministry, hoping to directly train 60 candidates and indirectly the whole student body of about 500 each year. The Diocese plans to help sustain the program by increased involvement from the school administration as well as the parents, who are now paying a small computer fee to buy generator fuel and equipment maintainance.
“We want to ensure that our students feel the love and care of our Lord Jesus Christ, the great Teacher and Healer,” says Bishop William.
Learn more about the Diocese of Boga.