On July 3rd, over 350 participants and observers gathered for the latest Fete de Presentation at College des Savior (CS). The Fete de Presentation is a tradition at CS, where students prepare skits, poems, songs, and other creative efforts to educate the community about what they’re learning and to celebrate the students’ academic and service-based progress. Present at this Fete were CS teachers and staff, teachers from other community schools, including a group from Lukunga, who GBA has been partnering with in its Teacher Learning Circles, community representatives, such as a representative from the IRC and a local head of education, and non-student children from the area. In addition, there were about 60 parents and 130 students at the fete as well.
The Fete included student presentations, a speech from Dr. Jerry, and a community fundraising effort. Students showed the audience examples of the square foot box gardening method they will be using for their Student Learning Gardens and demonstrated what waste materials to use for composting and how to use compost in the most productive types of gardening techniques.
Reactions from the Fete were enthusiastic, focusing on the students’ valuable and unique ability to speak in front of large crowds and to convey to the public the important lessons they’re learning. The Director of Lukunga was surprised by the students’ performance.
“I’m very flattered by the running of the ceremony and especially the skills students demonstrated. Frankly we didn’t expect most students to have such great skills like these students do. We thought that in this kind of area, we couldn’t find students able to speak in public, but they showed the opposite, and really, their behaviors surprised us, and this is very encouraging.”
The Director of the Kapini Primary School, Mr. Bena, described the students as active, well-adapted, and not scared.
One father, who had engaged in a student-run interview in the community previously, said he was: “… very happy and very surprised by these students. I did not think they could do such great things; I wish for this to continue.”
Many attendees thanked CS for the opportunity to attend and noted that they wish to directly support the school and the students in the future. Daniel, a Lukunga teacher, said that:
“What really impressed me a lot is the compost set-up. Really, we must support those students so that all this does not stop. Personally, I will start to come visit them.”
Mr. Gaston, President national de CISDC (Comité intersectoriel de développement du Congo) said he will ask for support for the school.
“I am determined to assist the CS and GBA because they are there for sustainable development for our country, for our community, our society, our children.”
The community-centered work of the students shines through in the community’s reciprocity in their eagerness to support the school. The students will now be on summer vacation, but they will continue caring for garden square foot boxes over the break and are moving closer and closer towards realizing their dream of developing a Students’ Learning Garden.