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STEM DRC Initiative Awards STEM Education Scholarships

The STEM DRC Initiative is powering Socio Economic development in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by providing STEM scholarships, offering mentoring opportunities, supporting STEM research, and promoting STEM entrepreneurship.

A “Brain Drain” hampers universities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo according to Karine Ndjoko Ioset and Gerhard Bringmann.

 

Today, the universities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are in urgent need of permanent professors. With no political measures to renew the over-aged academic staffs and improve working conditions as well as antiquated practices, the profession is no longer attractive for young people. Many academic positions are thus vacant (K Ioset, G Bringmann, 2019).

First, access to higher education in the DRC is limited to due the shortage of professors.  In addition, while there are many bright young Congolese students, rampant poverty has presented a crippling barrier to entry to higher education for most of them. Until recently, only the wealthy could afford the costs.  Many worthy students could not get governmental funds as might be available in other countries around the world. The result is that higher education has been both hard to find, and difficult to accomplish in the Congo.

But improvements in the number of professors, and in the curricula at universities are starting to make a difference. Now, funding of Congolese Higher Education still comes from family first, but foundations like the STEM DRC Inititiative are playing an increasingly key role.

The STEM DRC initiative was founded by Dr. Sandrine Mubenga, Ph.D., PE, a Congolese Woman who has become a Professor of Electrical Engineering Technology at the University of Toledo in the USA.   The 501c3 non profit organization has a primary focus on providing scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) because these are the most crucial and practical fields of study that can improve the lives of citizens of the DRC both and and for future generations. Further support for mentoring, research, and entreprenuership is being organized with the help of the (Institute of Electrical Engineering E _____ (IEEE) to create (electric villages).

The foundation was established in 2019, when a board of directors composed of leading Congolese professionals was convened.  Bylaws have been adopted, sponsors have been obtained.  (Diane) (Tshisakedi), wife of President (Felix) (Tshisakedi), and thus First Lady of the DRC, is serving as program Ambassador in the DRC.  Many thousands of dollars in donations have been received already, allowing the STEM DRC Initiative to award more than 60 Scholarships to deserving Congolese Students.

For 2020, additional sponsorships and donations are being sought, both inside the DRC and from the Diaspora or distributed population of Congolese found throughout the world.  The new goal is to sponsor 70 additional scholarships this year.  Inquiries from the DRC are requested at www.StemDrc.com.

Inquiries from the USA are requested at www.StemDRC.org where additional information is available, sponsorship opportunities are offered and donations are gladly accepted. Your support can help the STEM DRC Initiative to sponsor 70 STEM Scholarships in 2020 for Congolese students studying Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math.

Resulting education, electrification & entrepreneurial projects will improve lives for the 90% of Congolese people who live without reliable electricity.  There Are Few Opportunities To Change The World.  This is One of Them.  Sponsorships or Donations from the DRC and its Diaspora including populations in the USA will help create a better tomorrow for future generations of Congolese.

Source:

K. Iosett, G. Bringmann, 2019, “Next Generation Professors with BEBUC” Published December 15, 2019 at Afristech.com bu Coopetic, and retrieved online January 25, 2020 from https://www.afriscitech.com/ 

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