E-Reader Project prepares future leaders across the DRC
By Robin Pippin
In May, Pierre Omadjela, Field Project Manager at United Methodist Communications and Africa E-Reader Team member, traveled to Kindu Methodist University in the Democratic Republic of Congo to deliver devices and hold a training with the incoming theology students.
“I prepared future trainers of e-readers for Kindu Methodist University and Tunda’s Theological school. The first day, I led two students and a lecturer from each school, equipping them with the skills necessary to effectively use the e-readers and have them able to pass on that training to new students,” Omadjela said. “On the second day, we welcomed more than 30 first-year students. Those I’d trained the day before now had a chance to teach the newcomers under my supervision– A way to ensure the schools can replace me when I am unavailable.”
Omadjela used the same plan earlier this year while leading a training for Diengenga Pastors School and the theological school at Wembo-Nyama, both located in the DRC.
“At both trainings we taught about the e-reader’s functions and care, how to charge them and add more books to the device. The e-reader is ideal for the four schools, which are located in the more remote parts of the DRC. Kindu, Tunda, Diengenga, and Wembo-Nyama each have over 80 e-readers, an adequate library, and plans to keep expanding.”
Many of these theological schools’ libraries were in need of an update. One trained student studying theology at Tunda Theological School said that being able to find books written in 2017 or 2018 was impossible at the school. “When I go to our library, I’d find only old books and lose the courage to read them.”
Reverend Shungu, a faculty member at Wembo-Nyama, believes the e-readers aren’t just benefiting first-year students. Having one makes him less anxious about facing his PhD studies. “I am ready to start a new journey, with hope that I will succeed, taking into account all that I have added in my knowledge as result of studying with my e-reader,” Shungu added. “The e-readers help reduce the ‘inferiority complex’ felt by African trained pastors to those trained in Europe or America. My students can show confidence when discussing with other students from around our country, because now they’re learning from the same books.”
Pierre T. Omadjela is a Field Projects Manager, for Global Communication Technology department at The United Methodist Communications/Congo Central Conference. Omadjela served as the primary trainer, teaching in French.
Kindu Pictures taken by Judith Osongo, East Congo Director of Communications
Diengenga Pictures taken by Francois Omanyondo, Central Congo Annual Conference Communicator
The E-Readers for Theological Education initiative is a partnership with Higher Education and Ministry and Discipleship Ministries and is committed to providing e-libraries on e-readers with important theological texts to the libraries of United Methodist-related and sponsored theological schools in Africa and the Philippines. Learn more about the E-Reader project and donate today.