This inaugural post finds a team of Giving Back to Africa board members and staff in the Democratic Republic of Congo meeting with our partners and gathering information for our next steps. If you've read our newsletter from September 2010 you know we completed the Scholars Program and embarked on an evaluation of our last three years,
This past summer has been one of reflection, evaluation, and reorientation – both for the GBA Scholars and for the GBA Board of Directors. We’ve celebrated Masani and Malivo’s graduation from the GBA Scholars Program, evaluated their experience and the potential of their Giving Back Projects, and worked with a team of experts and new board members to design a new strategic direction for GBA programs in the coming years. As always, we are motivated toward our mission by the faith and effort of our Congolese partners.
--SANGO MALAMU GOOD NEWS FROM GBA Volume 3, Issue 2 September 2010
The results of our evaluation affirmed our mission of educating young people to become servant-leaders capable of taking control of their own lives while serving as change agents in their local communities and throughout the nation. Moving from the university setting, we will shift our efforts to younger children, in primary and secondary schools. Further, we are exploring how to combine our education mission with more traditional development goals, recognizing the importance of nutrition, health and a quality learning environment to a good education.
Taking these next steps in our mission required a trip to Congo.
And so, on January 11 Ann Marie Thomson, Jim Calli, co-founders of GBA, Marty Moore, GBA board member, and Michael Valliant, Administrative Director, arrived in Kinshasa on a research trip, gathering the information necessary to implement a youth empowerment curriculum. We meet our partner PAID, numerous nongovernmental organizations, schools and others to strengthen partnerships, create others and increase our understanding about how to work in the DRC.