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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Equipping Congo’s youth is goal of upcoming PC(USA) conference

 

Congo Mission Network conference set for March 14-16 is now open for registration

February 23, 2024

At the Congo Mission Network conference, several leaders of the Presbyterian Community of Congo (CPC) and the Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa (CPK) will explain their goals for their schools. Pictured here are students of CPC’s the Dipha dia Nzambe school in Kananga. (Contributed photo)

The Congo Mission Network (CMN) is hosting its annual conference on March 14–16 at the Charleston Atlantic Presbytery Conference Center in Charleston, South Carolina.

The conference theme, “Education for Transformation: Equipping Congolese Youth for the Future,” will unite partners in the U.S. and Congo to help strengthen Congo’s sparsely funded education programs.

Registration is free for online attendees outside the U.S.; otherwise, there is a $25 fee. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) staff, mission co-workers, Congolese and college students can also register for free. The in-person attendee fee is $100.

To register, visit congopartners.org/register2024.

PC(USA) is the primary sponsor of the CMN and has been a partner for decades. This year’s conference participants include representatives of churches of the Presbyterian Community of Congo (CPC) and the Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa (CPK). The CPC and the CPK oversee about 1,200 Congolese public schools.

Increased technical and vocational training programs in middle and high schools are hoped to boost employment among young Congolese adults. Classes in sewing, tailoring, welding, electrical work, and construction are planned. Here are students at the IT center at Institute Technique de Kamu. (Contributed photo)

According to a CMN press release, discussions to be held during the conference come at a pivotal time in history, as young adults in Africa are being pushed to a dizzying new world role. The birth rates of the already youthful African countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are sharply rising while birth rates in most other countries, including the U.S., are falling. The population of sub-Saharan Africa is projected to nearly double to 2.5 billion, or one quarter of the Earth’s population, over the next 25 years, according to the U.N. World Population Prospects 2022.

American and Congolese partners’ goals are to increase employment prospects for youth and young adults in the DRC. They also want to greatly enhance public schools, leadership and entrepreneurship training, technical education and public health measures for them.

The Rev. Zacharie Mboyamba Kabala of Kananga, DRC, will be the keynote speaker. The legal representative of CPC and director of the Department of Evangelism and the Life of the Church, he is well-known for his skill in conflict resolution and community-building. PC(USA) mission co-workers Jeff and Christi Boyd, based in the DRC, and José LaMont Jones, mission co-worker in Kinshasa and educational specialist to the CPK, are also scheduled to participate in various capacities at the conference.

Other speakers include Dr. Larry Sthreshley, senior advisor for innovation, localization and partnerships with Corus International, a former PC(USA) mission co-worker, and Dr. Freddy Nsapu, head of education for CPK.

A full conference program will be posted on the CMN website when finalized.

Scott O’Neill, Communications Strategist, Presbyterian Mission Agency

Today’s Focus: Congo Mission Network conference

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Jackson Campbell, Communications Specialist, Presbyterian Association of Musicians
Jerry Cannon, Vice President, Ministry Innovation, Board of Pensions

Let us pray

Gracious God, we thank you for witness and ministry. We ask that you would give us courage and strength to respond in word and deed to all those who are in need. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.