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  initiative group "Ecoles du Coeur" 2003  

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Join us and help: Let this School grow and be a blessing

We want to help. Children and adult need education. So please help too!!
In 2003 our first donation startet to support "Ecoles Du Coeur"

- more information see here >|

"grand"mother Helga was the driving spirit in the back - she passed on in April 2005 - and this work is as well dedicated to her and her lifelong support to so many people - Thank you mom - she helped her son Helmut so much to fulfill his tasks and dreams, spared every penny for benevolent help - her love was to work and be in her garden. Helmut, artist and author, with help from his son Jonas, now tries to be one in the row of so many who build up more awareness for the needs of the world, the children, the people, the animals - and ways to help and heal. Petra joint this work, set many guidelines until 2006, when she went back to Berlin, the Metrople of Germany to build up her own business.


Grandmom Helga, Helmut Preller, Petra Rehder

More to come soon

August 2007

Warm greetings! My visit in the US is winding to the end. I gave two talks in Eugene, plus a radio interview. Currently, I'm visiting with dear friends of mine in Riverside, CA, who are helping with outreach to the school. I'm very grateful for all your kindness and generosity.

I'd like to reiterate my investmemt needs at the school.
The school, for its sustainablility, needs to acquire a property of its own, where it can slowly build. To purchase a property in the area where the school is located, we would need a minimum of $20,000. Once this property is acquired, construction may proceed slowly, and friends in OR & CA have even offered to come and help with the construction in summer 2008.

With much appreciation for your continued support,
Much love,
Mayal Tshiabwila, Director
Ecoles du Coeur

please read this letter from 2005


A new school for literacy in The Democratic Republic of Congo has been founded by Mayal Tshiabwila, a Christian Scientist from Kinshasa.

(Mary Baker Eddy, Poems)

Early 2002, I “lost” my job with a UN development agency. To make a living, I ventured on a chicken raising business, but a few months later, it collapsed. I had already built, in my compound, a 3.5 by 10 meters rooms in cement blocks. I kept thinking how to put my room to good use. Then one day, I went out of my compound and saw a good number of school boys and girls, with sad faces, walking back from the nearby school. Asked why they were going back home at that time, they said they had been expelled from school, because their parents had not paid required school fees. I went back in my compound, but the image of those children kept knocking at my mind. I knew we had a transition government facing many problems, but something needed to be done.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, even public schools are not free. Beginning in the late 80s, owing to mismanagement and widespread corruption, the dictatorship then in place, could no longer deliver basic social services. To survive, public schools started charging a fee. Widespread unemployment, very large families, very low wages in the public sector, all those factors combined drove down school enrolment. Available data from UNICEF (2001) tell the story: Rate of enrolment: boys: 55%, girls: 49%. Children who enter first grade and complete fifth grade: 54%. These data tell the magnitude of the problem facing children. Many of those who get a chance to enrol in first grade drop out of school even before reaching fifth grade.

I had a large enough room I could divide in three classrooms, but where would I get the money to furnish them. The following summer, while in the United States for my annual association meeting, I shared the idea with a few friends. One, a Principia College alumnus, offered to send me $ 100. This I used to buy a few chairs. Then another Principian offered $ 200. I also wrote a project document which I shared with friends. By December 2002, one room was furnished. The same month, a dear friend from Europe I had informed about the project, promised to introduce me to a friend of hers who could help us. Then, one Monday, that friend of my friend sent $500 for the school, along with kind words of encouragement.

January 2003, the school opened with a class of 15 children. At the end of that year, we had 26 children of
single mothers. In 2004 - 2005, the school population reached 57 students. Among these students, special groups: women aged from 21 to 62, enrolled to learn how to read and write; single mothers aged from 16 to 28, and of course boys and girls aged from 11 to 20.

The school year 2005 – 2006 started in September, and the classes are crowded. We have four groups: young boys and girls : 45; women up to 68 years: 20, single mothers: 10.

Owing to the accommodation problems, we had to turn quite a few away.

The many students did not go to the regular school because their parents could not afford the school fees all school charge. Therefore, we cannot ask them to pay a fee.

“Ecoles du Coeur” is a small, but great idea. There are so many children out of school, and many adults who are illiterate. Even if the contribution Ecoles du Coeur is making is like a drop of water in a desert, it is worth continuing and supporting.