The Gocongo Foundation was started in 2009 and registered as a charity in the UK in 2011 as a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization. The foundation enables social and economic development in Katanga Province, southern Congo, focusing on the education of children, youth and adults. The main aim of the foundation, which is to provide educational opportunities for those without access to schooling is illumined by the teachings of the Bahá’í Faith, which espouses the principle of universal education for all people.
Gocongo has started a primary school, including a kindergarten, as well as a training centre for teenagers and adults. Our vision is to welcome increasing numbers of students from the rural villages to the programmes offered. We also aim to develop an agricultural cooperative with the local farmers of the surrounding areas, in order to promote agriculture as a means to sustainable livelihoods and in order to assist them in their development and on-going training needs.
We are committed to developing human resources at the grassroots level in a sustainable and organic manner. This enables us to address the real and changing needs of the individuals, families and communities we engage with.
The foundation encourages the participation of all members of the community as agents and initiators of change, and values collaboration and a spirit of initiative, which we believe is a fundamental aspect for the success and longevity of any projects. Through this, a sense of self-reliance and collaboration within the community is created, avoiding relationships of dependency and passivity.
Our methods concentrate mainly on developing each person’s potential through education and its practical outcomes, as we believe that knowledge is key and fundamental to progress. We see people not as targets for development or problems to be solved but as promoters of their own well-being and communities.
We believe consultation is essential and have established a good working relationship with the local community and will continue to value their input to the projects.