What is the Next 500 Future Leaders of Congo?
Over the next four years, invest in developing 500 transformational leaders for Congo who will be taught and mentored at UCBC – young adults equipped to identify, own, and shape a new narrative for 21st century Democratic Republic of Congo.
This fundraising campaign will run from October 2017 through September 2021 with the goal of securing $1.8 million in leadership gifts and pledges (greater than $10,000) and $1.8 million in all other gifts and pledges (under $10,000).
What is the priority of the campaign?
The priority of the campaign is to provide $1800 scholarships for the next 500 future leaders, the projected number of students attending UCBC over the next four years.
Who will benefit from the campaign?
This campaign will most directly benefit students and staff at UCBC. This campaign will secure the funding necessary to support the operations of UCBC, including teacher salaries and development, academic programs, student resources (ex. library and computer labs), and more. However, the campaign will have a much wider impact on the community of Beni and Congo as these students develop into the future leaders of Congo.
What makes UCBC unique?
Congo Initiative is an envisioned community of Christ-centered Congolese leaders and global partners united for the transformation of lives and a flourishing Democratic Republic of Congo. Empowered by this vision, Congo Initiative educates ethical leaders who have integrity; invests in a sustainable vibrant Congolese society; and develops grassroots initiatives for peace, hope, and justice. In this vision, we are together—being transformed to transform.
Congo Initiative’s main entity is the Christian Bilingual University of Congo/Université Chrétienne Bilingue du Congo (UCBC). Launched in 2007, UCBC is leading Congo by modeling a type of education that is integrated and relevant for Congo’s challenges in the 21st century. A 4-year, liberal arts institution that offers undergraduate (Bachelors) degrees, UCBC is distinct by integrating a holistic, bilingual education rooted in academics, work, and service.
Programs that set UCBC apart from other universities include:
- Rigorous academics
- Bilingual (English and French)
- Rooted in a Christian vision of transformation
- Service Learning
- Emphasis on equal opportunities for women
- Technological integration
- Creation care and focus on environmental sustainability
- Integrated Research
- Work Program
How will your support expand horizons for UCBC students? How will your support help sustain UCBC?
Your support makes it possible for students to attend a university that provides a space and formation committed to transformation, to creating change in Congo and serving the common good. Like any university, there are costs (i.e. teacher and staff salaries, education resources, etc), and in the context like Congo, students do not have the same sort of opportunities both institutionally and financially. That is what UCBC offers – a place where students can learn and gain knowledge and skills in order to transform their nation.
How will your support create opportunities for UCBC students?
Your support allows students the opportunity to receive an education that will not only lead to opportunities in the workplace and employment, but opportunities to be future leaders in their communities and country, leading change that brings peace, hope and justice.
How does your support transform lives?
Students’ lives are transformed daily as members of the UCBC community. But, your support not only transforms these future leaders, but through them, you will impact many more lives as they become alumni that work and serve throughout Congo.
Why should donors give to the campaign?
Hundreds of NGOs and governmental institutions pour millions of humanitarian aid into Congo each year. But, few are addressing the root cause of Congo’s crisis – leadership. You have the opportunity to support the next 500 future leaders of Congo – women and men who will help fill the void of leadership.
What is the cost per student?
Full UCBC tuition is just $2,200 per year. Students and their parents make extraordinary sacrifices to pay the required tuition amount of $400/year. (This amounts to 98% of Congo’s annual per capita gross national income!)
The Council of Christian Colleges and Universities’ 2015-16 tuition survey indicates the average cost of tuition at a Christian College or University in the U.S. at $25,758.
That means for this amount, you can support 12 students at UCBC!
What is the campaign’s financial goal? How much of my money actually makes it to Congo?
Our goal is to raise enough financial resources to support 500 students for four years. That is $900,000 per year, or 3.6 million for all four years.
90% of this goal goes directly to supporting these students.
What kind of gifts are accepted during the campaign?
We accept gifts made through credit card, check, or stock.
Will all gifts count towards the campaign goal? When do we start counting gifts towards the campaign?
Yes! All gifts made to support UCBC will count towards the campaign goal. We began counting all gifts dedicated to supporting UCBC as part of the campaign beginning on May 1, 2017.
Given the size of the campaign, do small gifts really matter?
Yes! Every gift matters! We are aware of the different capacity of our donors and desire all who want to support this incredible vision to do so. Many of our donors are monthly, recurring donors that give a small amount each month!
How are gifts allocated?
What is the timeframe of the campaign?
We plan to end the campaign on September 30, 2021.
What will you do if you don’t reach your goal of the campaign?
We understand that this is always a potential reality. Though we are confident in God’s provision through the incredible generosity of our supporters, we will continue working hard until this goal is reached.
Can I give to the campaign even if I’m not ready to make a 4-year commitment?
Yes. Though a four-year commitment is desired, we welcome any gifts made towards the campaign.
What will happen in 4 years when this campaign is over? How will UCBC remain viable/sustainable?
We are currently working on a robust, sustainability plan. Here are a few components of our sustainability plan:
- This past year, we formed the UCBC Alumni Association to encourage alumni to give back!
- Our Center for Development and Partnership is working with alumni and local business leaders to implement income-generating projects that improve livelihoods of the local community AND gives back to UCBC.
- We are working to put in place an Endowment Fund to help sustain UCBC in years to come.
- More fundraising! The reality for any university is the need for continual development and fundraising efforts to sustain and improve the educational experience for students.
Will I receive updates about the impact of my gift? How often?
We send out email updates once a month, print newsletters three times a year, and post on social media a few times every week, sharing with our community of supporters the impact of their gifts.
However, as a donor to this very important campaign you will receive a letter/note from a UCBC student twice a year.
FAQS ABOUT UCBC
What is UCBC’s annual budget and how does the NEXT 500 campaign goals relate to that figure?
UCBC’s annual budget is approximately $1 million. Students pay $150,000-$200,000 per year, or 15-20%. The rest of the budget is covered by the NEXT 500 campaign.
Where is UCBC located?
UCBC is located in the town of Beni, which is located in eastern Congo, on the most northern portion of the North Kivu province. The town is bustling with commerce and agriculture. It sits just west of of the Ruwenzori Mountains that create the border with Uganda.
How many other universities are there in Congo?
Universities tend to pop-up frequently, but with short life-spans and usually constructed for profiting the administrators. There are a number of long-standing universities located in Congo, but few have an approach to holistic education like UCBC. Even more, universities are often caught up with corrupt practices and do not model transformative education and leadership.
What faculties or department and programs exist at UCBC?
UCBC currently has 5 faculties, understood as “departments” or “programs” in an American context. These 5 faculties are Communications, Theology, Economics, Applied Sciences, and the newest edition, Law. Under each faculty are program tracts:
Who comprises UCBC’s leadership?
Congo Initiative and UCBC was founded by a group of Congolese visionaries led by Drs. David and Kasweral Kasali. UCBC is lead by a Management Committee with oversight and council from a governing board (General Assembly) in Congo, and the Congo Initiative – USA board.
How many total staff does UCBC have?
UCBC has a total of 100 staff members, this includes teachers, administrators, and service staff.
How many teaching staff does UCBC have?
Due to the context and challenges within Congo’s current education system, UCBC often depends on visiting faculty in order to meet the needs and requirements of the university and academic guidelines set by the Ministry of Education. However, we continue to grow our teaching staff in order to establish a strong, committed and service-minded permanent faculty (see Advanced Studies Program below)
What is the Advanced Studies Program and why does it matter?
Two more staff members are preparing to begin their Masters programs by the end of 2017, and another will begin a Doctoral program.By 2025, twenty-five UCBC teaching and administrative staff will have obtained advanced degrees—Masters or Doctorates. In fact, we are already on our way.
As of January 2017, six staff members are in the first semester of their Masters programs:
- Sifa Jolie Kpaka, a UCBC alum and member of the Economics faculty, is finishing the first year of her MBA program at Daystar (Nairobi).
- Josias Nyondo is completing a Masters in Educational Quality through Bamberg University (Germany).
- Elisée Ndjabu Dhongo just began a Masters in Information Technology at the International School of Business and Technology (Kampala).
- John Muthambuko, Célé Mukirania, and Malonga Mashauri are in the early phase of an online Masters in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) at Messiah College (Grantham, PA).
How many visiting teachers does UCBC have? Why does UCBC have to rely on “itinerant” visiting teachers?
As you see above, finding permanent, advanced-degree holding teachers is a challenge in Congo. We are often dependent on visiting teachers, committed to providing the best education possible for our students, which is also a common practice in Congo (“Itinerant” teachers.) However, as our Advanced Studies program indicates, we are growing our permanent faculty and staff each year!
What campus facilities does UCBC provide?
UCBC currently has 4 buildings that hold offices, classrooms, a library, computer labs, and gathering space. In 2016, UCBC constructed a large, multi-purpose tent (known as “Hope Chapel Tent”) to serve as a gathering space for chapel, conferences and other events, while our community center that includes an auditorium, office space, our library, and classrooms, is under construction.
We are also pleased to share our entire campus runs on sustainable energy, through a solar power system installed in 2015.
Where do students live? Will campus housing be provided in the future?
Currently, we are unable to provide on campus housing, though dormatories are planned for the future. Students rent housing locally or stay with family while studying at UCBC.
How many students currently attend UCBC and where are they from?
346 students various provinces and countries are currently attending UCBC. Students come from all over Congo, including North Kivu, South Kivu, Oriental, Lubumbashi and Kinshasa. There are also a few students from the neighboring country of Rwanda and Uganda.
What is UCBC’s average gender ratio for the past 5 years?
The average percentage of female students attending UCBC in the past 5 years is 37%, approximately 6% above the country’s average. We are committed to promoting gender equality and women in education despite challenging cultural expectations and context. Our Women’s Voices group acts as an advocacy group on campus for female students and staff encouraging the student body to take seriously the role of women in education and to create a safe space where all students feel welcomed and are treated equally.
How many alumni are there?
As of December 31st, 2018, there are currently 506 UCBC alumni serving in communities around Congo in various capacities. 43% of these alumni are women.
How many alumni are employed and where do they work after they graduate?
In 2017, the UCBC alumni association facilitated a project that gathered alumni information and employment. Below is the current data they were able to retrieve and illustrates how alumni are making an impact.
8 are working in bank enterprises.
Over 20 are working with CI or UCBC.
6 are working in the mining industry.
Over 100 are innovating new startups or working as consultants.
Over 15 are serving as pastors in churches.
Over 50 are working in national and international NGO’s based in Congo.
3 are working with the DRC government.
Over 50 are pursuing advanced studies at universities across east Africa.
Alumni work in various sectors including, but not limited to, NGOs in Congo, banking, agriculture, telecommunications, hotel & restaurant management, education institutions, and the local church.
We are proud to say 30 alumni work either at UCBC or another Congo Initiative program.
How many alumni stay in Congo to create change?
The majority of alumni remain in Congo to create change in their communities, taking the knowledge, skills, and vision of transformation into various sectors and regions.