The girl we see in the photo is a child in Buyungule village of the Pygmy people situated at 4km from the Tchivanga station of the Kahuzi-Biega National Park.
The Pygmy is the first inhabitant of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). They were not, however, considered and duly respected as the first occupants of the DRC but instead as the ‘enemy’ of the conservation because of their hunting tradition of the wild animals in the KBNP. And their children were not given a chance for the school education.
But today we see one primary school in their village that was constructed by the European aid and that allows every child to have a basic education. This girl didn’t know how to read and write. Seeing her writing “bateau (boat)” ”avion (air plane)” ”train” ”fusso (a Japanese make of trucks)” ”camion (truck)” is one thing encouraging and felicitous.
For any people, changing the life style and tradition is a hard thing to do. But we hope we can find a brighter future for this first occupant of our country.
*Daniel Kahekwa is the Assistant Director of the Department of Science at Pole Pole Foundation.