The project for education access began with a trip to Goma (the capital city of the North-Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 2002 by EduCorps founder, Dr. Murutamanga L. Kabahita. A visit to Lycée Amani, an elite girls science school in the city, quickly revealed the plight of many Congolese children who could not attend school due to lack of funds. Many families could not afford the $7.00 per month tuition. As a result, many girls were forced to stay at home, at risk to forms of violence and rape by soldiers and rebels.
The project originally began with the sponsorship of two girls. After returning back to the United States, Kabahita began to collect funds from local organizations, churches, and connections to send back to Lycée Amani as an aid for identified financially struggling students. With the objective to help disadvantaged girls attend and complete school, from the secondary level through upper education, the project provided scholarships and a meal a day for certain girls throughout their academic careers.
The project continued to expand with and secured a partnership with a non-profit organization, AZEA (Association of Zaïrean Congolese in America) whose mission was to provide adjustment aid for Congolese in the United States. In 2012, the addition of Sara Rich (a former teacher in Kinshasa and Goma) and Marcia Rich (a former Peace Corps Volunteer) to the Project sparked the foundation of EduCorps.
Dr. Murutamanga Louis Kabahita grew up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and continued to study and work in the education system as a secondary school teacher and university professor.
His passion for education initiated in his youth. He founded a successful Boy Scout troop and was involved in the education of youth in Bukavu (the capital city of Southern Kivu). He also trained Peace Corps volunteers mainly in education while studying and teaching at the Institut Supérieur Pédagogique (a teacher’s college in the eastern region of Congo) in 1973.
He came to the United States in 1981 to complete his Ph.D. degree at Vanderbilt University and served as a teaching assistant in the French and Italian departments of the university. He began teaching French at Ensworth School before continuing his teaching career at the Tennessee States University, Belmont University, and lastly at the Potomac School. He retired in 2018 to pursue and expand his program in the Great Lakes region of Congo and Rwanda.