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Pandemic endangers local school chalk production

A project from Lernen-Helfen-Leben e.V.
in Uvira, Congo (Democratic Republic)

The pandemic prevented schools from paying the chalk bills on time. But business continued. Therefore there is a lack of investment funds for a continuation of the school chalk production today. Help a "start up" in the Congo!

H. Rothenpieler
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About this project

School chalk - that is still the “daily bread” in Congolese schools, because digitization of the schools is out of the question. The children are happy if they can go to school at all, because school costs money that many families cannot afford. About half of the Congolese children do not go to school at all because of this.
School chalk is required by all schools and in the past this was imported from China like so many other things in the Uvira region on Lake Tanganyika.

Six years ago we founded a company for the local production of school chalk in Uvira on Lake Tanganyika. Production created jobs and the money stayed in the country. For various reasons, the beginning was very difficult, but in 2019 everything seemed to be out of the woods: The investments had been made, production was running and plenty of school chalk could be delivered. But in the last quarter of 2019, the state schools stopped paying the bills because they hadn't received the state's promised support for months. So many claims could not be collected at first. Many other schools have private sponsors. Then in March 2020 all schools were closed due to Covid-19, so that the other schools could no longer pay their bills either ...

As if that wasn't enough, in April 2020 Uvira had such heavy rain as the Eifel in Germany is now: Hundreds of houses were destroyed, numerous deaths were to be lamented. The homeless were housed in schools, other schools (which HOCI’s bills had not yet paid) were completely destroyed by the heavy rain. Some reports can be found here

But the employees did not give up.
If, however, the turnover of one year is spread over two years and many schools do not pay on time, the planned funds for investments in fixed costs will dissipate, so that the investments now required cannot be raised on their own. More background information here

This is where our project comes in: The difficulties were the result of the floods and the pandemic. Thus, the concept is still valid: With "normal" operation, the school chalk can be produced profitably and the foundation achieves its goals. But in order to get there, the African Children's Foundation now needs some grants for the investments: for the purchase of chalk powder, oils that are needed for production, packaging material, and salaries that have to be paid until the schools start in October Pay for the deliveries in 2021, for a water tank because there is a lack of water in the dry season and for a new moped because the previous one is now very susceptible to repair after several years of use.