Baraka Academy is a school in Bunia (Ituri District, Democratic Republic of the Congo) offering nursery, primary and secondary education. It provides schooling and trauma care for orphans, many of whom were living on the street. These orphans are placed into safe foster families in the community and receive their education at no cost. They also receive free medical checkups at the school clinic and meals each day. The foster families attend trauma management conferences and are provided with micro-credit support and literacy training when necessary.
Fee-paying students also attend Baraka Academy. Students attend Baraka Academy six days a week. All teachers are trained to effectively manage the students' trauma, and individual trauma interventions are implemented where necessary. Baraka Academy is achieving a reputation for academic excellence throughout the region: the school curriculum is rigorous, and includes literacy programs in English, French and Swahili.
Established in 2005, the school has showed continued growth each year with additional classrooms and campuses recently added. The local chief donated a large portion of land to the school, which is cultivated for food crops and raising livestock. The food crops harvested at the fields are used for the orphans’ meals each day with excess sold at the local market to generate income. Alongside the fields is Baraka II, a second campus offering the same services for the rural community surrounding Bunia town. As of 2012 there are over 700 orphan students and 700 fee-paying students at Baraka schools.
In 2005, UNICEF estimated there to be approximately 4, 200 000 children within the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) who have been orphaned as a direct result of the civil war and disease. The painful cries of these children echo through devastation. They cry out for food and a warm place to sleep. However, they mainly cry out for love. These Congolese children are in desperate need of our help. Together, we can restore the light of hope in their lives.
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