This offseason is proving to be a busy one for basketball player Bismack Biyomo Fresh off his first season playing for the Orlando Magic, former Toronto Raptors player Biyombo is hard at work on his latest passion project – helping to build schools in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Biyomo has a deep connection to the DRC. Despite having left at the age of sixteen to play basketball professionally around the world, Biyombo’s heart and mind have never strayed far from his home country. That’s why, this summer, he’s lending a philanthropic hand to his home country by setting up a bilingual school for vulnerable children living in Goma, one of the DRC’s most war-torn regions.
Biyombo recently visited the Teach Away HQ to meet the team and fill us in on his latest project:
Kivu International School is set to open in September 2017, enrolling male and female students at the primary and secondary level. Children in Goma – where rebel groups, despite peace accords, continue to thrive – are at high risk of being forcibly recruited as child soldiers.
In the DRC, there are limited educational opportunities for young people. More than three million children are out of school in the country right now – in fact, one in five Congolese children have never stepped foot in a classroom.
Millions of children across the world who live in conflict are at grave risk of growing up without the skills they need to contribute to their society and country’s economy, exacerbating an already desperate situation. In times of instability, schools don’t just offer a safe environment for learning – they restore much-needed normalcy and stability in children’s lives and play a critical part in protecting them from the trauma and physical dangers around them.
Biyombo learned to play basketball never having owned a pair of shoes, walked two hours to and from school each day and frequently went hungry. While basketball helped Biyombo and his family move out of poverty, he knows that option isn’t available to every kid. That’s why we’re excited to be teaming up with Bismack Biyombo’s charity organization, to help find teachers who are passionate about making a meaningful difference in the lives of children in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ready to be a part of something big? Apply for a job teaching at Kivu International School today!