The Bwana Chui School of Peace: a safe haven for children amid violence in North Kivu

The ongoing conflict between government forces and the M23 rebels has caused yet more mass displacement in the Kivu region in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Kanyabayonga is one of the worst affected cities, its population has been decimated and thousands of people have been forced to flee due to the violence. Over 7 million people are estimated to be displaced by the conflict in the region. Humanitarian conditions are dire, including shortages of food, water, medicine and shelter.

In this dramatic context, the Floribert Bwana Chui School of Peace offers a lifeline for displaced and vulnerable children. Situated about one hundred kilometres from Kanyabayonga, the school provides quality education and a safe place away from the atrocities of the conflict. Besides educational programmes, the Bwana Chui School is committed to promoting values of peace, tolerance and solidarity through extracurricular activities, workshops and training courses. Students are educated in non-violence, mutual respect and intercultural dialogue, and the school is thus transformed into an environment where children can grow and heal, overcome past traumas and build a better future for themselves and their country.
The commitment of the Bwana Chui School extends not only to the education of students, but to the community as a whole. The facility offers psychological support and basic health care, including counselling and assistance to vulnerable families. The school is a key reference point for the local population in a context of limited resources and poor access to health services.
Despite difficulties and dangers, the Bwana Chui School pursues its mission thanks to the teachers' courage and the constant support of the Community of Sant'Egidio.