Home Education AfDB project pulls 9,016 DR Congo kids back to school from mining

AfDB project pulls 9,016 DR Congo kids back to school from mining

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Launched in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2019, The African Development Bank (AfDB) Support Project for the Alternative Welfare of Children and Young People Involved in the Cobalt Supply Chain (PABEA-Cobalt)has been announced to make a huge progress since 2019.

The project was launched by the bank to discourage kids from cobalt mining and instead return to school. It will, however, come to an end in December this year.

It was funded to the tune of $$78 million by the bank through the concessional financing window and the Transition Support Facility, and has helped to extricate many Congolese children from artisanal cobalt mines and to train thousands of their young parents to become farmers.

The project implementation and results report, published by the African Development Bank on 26 January 2024, emphasised that 9,016 children (46.2 per cent of whom are girls) have been taken out of the mines and 3,235 young people (of an initial target of 6,250) have been retrained in the agriculture sector. The project has also brought 2,425 boys and 2,044 girls back to school so far, to provide them with a better education.

Raymond Eyoh Besong, who is managing the project for the Bank, shares his thoughts on the results of the initiative. He considers that the overall objectives of contributing to improving the living conditions of people in the Lualaba and Haut-Katanga Provinces and establishing a responsible cobalt ore supply chain in the Democratic Republic of Congo, will “definitely be achieved.”

he said “The project’s appraisal report included a comprehensive analysis to identify the root causes of children’s presence in mines and at artisanal mining sites. These are mainly household poverty and the inadequacy or lack of basic social infrastructure. The project’s intervention strategy therefore concentrated on resolving these two main causes, and included all stakeholders in the project area who have been fighting to end child labour, including political and administrative authorities, civil society, the private sector, and so on.
The project’s holistic approach, combining children’s social reintegration (with regard to schooling, nutrition, health, psychology and civil registration) and the socio-economic transition to agribusiness for their parents, as well as awareness-raising and the many activities planned since the project appraisal such as identifying the direct beneficiaries, are the major incentives for encouraging the children to go back to school and their parents to keep them there.”

Photo: Google Images

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