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콩고의 어린이들, "학교가는 게 가장 즐거워요!"

2009.11.30

* UNICEF: Educating Congo's Indigenous Children
* 시간: 03 min 18 secs
* 촬영도시: Likouala
* 촬영국가: Congo
* 촬영일자: 04 Sep 2009


It is morning in the village of Tosangana on the outskirts of Impfondo, the capital of Likouala province in North East Republic of Congo. Rufin Kokolo is getting ready to go to school. His sister Naomi will also soon be off to a near by preschool.


His father Gerard, who has lived in the town all of Rufin's town takes pride in his son's school work and encourages him to pay attention in class.


It all appears fairly routine, kids getting ready for school and excitement as school friends gather to walk the route together.


Yet two years ago, these children did not go to school. Not because there are no schools but rather because they are Baka. Better known by the colonial label, pygmies, the Baka are seen by the Congo's majority Bantu population as backward and inferior. The discrimination faced by Baka children from students and teachers is often too much to bear, they are mocked and ridiculed.


But in the last 2 years, UNICEF in partnership with the Catholic Church has opened 14 schools throughout Likouala province catering specifically to the needs of indigenous children. Father Lucien, a Swiss missionary, who has worked with the Baka for more than 20 years, is spearheading the project.


SOUNDBITE (French) Father Lucien, Priest: "The principle cause is discrimination is anthropology, if you consider a person sub human then you can justify the way to treat them, as long at the Bantu consider the Baka here in Likouala as inferior, nothing will change."


But many are hoping things can be different for the next generation. Education is being unleashed as a tool to give them an opportunity to rise above and seek out ways to escape their poverty and marginalization.


SOUNDBITE (Gerard, Rufin's Father: "I want my children to go to school, this is the only we can succeed in being treated like the Bantu, our children can no longer survive as we did in the forest without education."


Rufin and his friends arrive at their school in Impfondo. Two classrooms constructed by the community are housed on land owned by the Catholic Church.


The teacher here, Jean Baptiste Ruzinadaza, understands discrimination; he's a Rwandese refugee.
The two year course, called ORA, is designed especially for the mobile indigenous children of Central Africa. It gives them foundations needed to integrate into the normal public education system.


SOUNDBITE (French) Jean Baptiste Ruzinadaza, Teacher: "We have found the solution to discrimination is –preparation, this is like a pre school, where we teach them how to study, the children that

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