Classrooms are stark in the schools of the Congo. Often students must squeeze twice as many on a bench as the number for which it was built. Many schools have no desks at all and students sit on stones, cement blocks, crates, branches, or even the dirt floor making it very difficult to learn. In the picture below left, students at the technical secondary school sit on tree trunks. Below center, students sit on low pew benches they borrow each week from the nearby church. School fees, which parents can barely afford, rarely go beyond paying meager teacher salaries much less to buy benches or repair furniture.
Simple desks like the ones pictured above right, are made from plank boards and assembled locally. Each desk sits three students and costs approximately $35. The desks will remain in the classroom from year to year and that initial $35 investment will go far beyond helping those first three children to focus and learn to the best of their abilities. Besides desks, cupboards and book shelves will be needed as donations of books and resource materials arrive. These will also be made locally.