DR Congo: At Father Roger Pholo’s School In The Slums Of Boma
In a Democratic Republic of Congo, torn apart by a widespread crisis, Father Roger Pholo is dedicated to the education of children in order to guarantee them a future. He realizes his work thanks to the school Saint Anthony of Padua, of which he is the co-founder.
“I want to provide these children with a decent learning environment. Some buildings are without plaster; verandas and sewer pipes are not yet fixed. All this work is necessary for the dignity of our infrastructure and for the good of our children. These are the words of Father Roger Pholo who, for nearly two years in a slum in Boma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, gave birth to the “Œuvre pour l’Enfance Défavorisée (OED)“. He also runs a school named after Saint Anthony of Padua. Words that depict the situation of need in which the Population finds itself.
Reverend Father Roger’s school
The Democratic Republic of Congo has experienced a widespread crisis for decades. The whole social fabric has deteriorated and, in this context, the Catholic Church has undertaken a series of activities, including education. Father Roger’s school is located in Boma, Sindi district, separated from the rest of the town by a river. In Boma, hundreds of families from all over the province have settled, moving away from their villages in the hope of finding a job in the city. Unfortunately, their desire to find a better life was shattered by the reality of the community. Children in this district have to walk more than five kilometres to find the first school. This situation becomes alarming during the rainy season with the flooding of the river; making roads impassable for months, forcing children to drop out of school.
The school has 10 classes and 225 students
“When Father Roger began pastoral work in our neighbourhood, he could not remain indifferent to our misery. There was no electricity and running water. There was not even a school where hundreds of school-age children lived. So he decided to do something concrete to save our children’s future,” explains one parent. Today, the school has 10 classes and 225 students.
A pump installed in the school gardens provides water to the neighbourhood and, thanks to solar panels, children can do their homework and play in the school gardens even after sunset.
Cédric Mouzou, SJ (with Osservatore Romano) – Vatican City