Looking back at 2010
Below you will find the three categories of projects Friendly Planet helped to finance in 2010. Two of the most exciting tangible projects we supported were the construction of the El Dorado Nursing School in Mulongo and the building of a new boat, "The Indiana," which will provide life-saving transportation services up and down the Congo river.
It has been exciting to work this year with the district superintendents, pastors, and lay leaders in both the North Katanga Conference and the Tanganyika Conference on proposed projects for 2010. The good news is that we have some great projects in the pipeline. The hard news is that the price tag breaks through the $500,000 ceiling. We’re all trusting that God will provide enough friends; the friends will provide the money.
CONSTRUCTION Church and parsonage construction, along with construction of schools and clinics, tops the list for 2010. Folks continue to ask us how much it costs to build a building in the DRC. The answer is, “a lot more than it used to” – generally between $10,000 and $30,000. Costs for cement are climbing faster than oil prices and transportation is a big problem in getting cement and roofing to the building sites. All of our communities are currently building, so your contributions don’t fund a single project, but are used for several projects throughout the region.
TRANSPORTATION The bicycle program continues to be our best investment. However, the availability and low cost of motorcycles have provoked us to think about providing motorcycles for the district superintendents, who have large districts to cover. In addition, some of the communities are accessible only by water, those along Lake Tanganyika or the Congo River. We’re looking at two boat projects. One will resurrect and repurpose (for outreach and community health) an old commercial fishing boat on Lake Tanganyika and the other is the construction of a new boat for the Congo River. Together, the projects will cost over $100,000.
Click here to view images of transportation in the Congo.
EDUCATION Primary school education in DRC is not compulsory, free or universal, and many children are unable to attend school because parents are unable to pay the enrollment fees. Many of the community leaders we work with are highly educated and we are in danger of having a generation less educated than their parents, at a time when education is critical.