Features

U of T Welcomes the Nyantende Foundation to Campus

Attempting to bridge the education gap between the developed and developing world — a first look at U of T’s newest club.

Sophia Mashadi  CONTRIBUTOR

Victoria Lunetta CONTRIBUTOR

Image: Nyatende Foundation

Are you a student who wants to get involved? Are you looking to find a community or feel connected? Do you have a passion for learning and attempting to bridge the education gap between the developed and developing world?

The global education gap is growing between high- and low-income countries. The Nyantende Foundation is dedicated to bridging that gap by providing learning opportunities for highly vulnerable youth in the Democratic Republic of Congo. With a new home at the University of Toronto (U of T)’s very own St. George campus, this grassroots non-governmental organization is seeking students that want to help bring academic and economic prosperity to youth in the community of Nyantende. Our recently formed executive council is thrilled to introduce the organization on campus while working with student executives at the University of Ottawa and Queen’s University to develop and execute the non-profit’s annual strategy.

This year through our Education Fund (flagship program), we are helping 187 highly vulnerable youth in Congo attend local schools in Nyantende. First, by equipping them with the tools they need to succeed in the classroom, and second, by subsidizing their monthly tuition fees. We believe education is a basic human necessity as it provides youth with the knowledge and skills necessary to escape the poverty cycle.  

It is our vision to improve Nyantende from the ground up by offering its most vulnerable youth valuable learning opportunities. Our mission is to equip these boys and girls with a secondary school degree and a set of technical skills and leadership training. The purpose is to provide the knowledge, experience, and motivation required to obtain employment and consequently, provide stability and prosperity for themselves, their families, and their community.

While our mission in Congo remains our primary focus, we are also committed to raising awareness about the state of education in low income countries on the university campuses where we are active. There is a rapidly increasing disparity in the quality of education between countries like Congo and Canada. It is important for students across this country to recognize the immense value of education and consider life for youth without the means to receive an education. We want to help Canadian university students like ourselves discover the power of philanthropy to improve lives by sharing the gift of education to those born into less fortunate conditions.

We welcome any students who would like to join our community and involve themselves with planning and executing our mission at U of T. At this critical early stage of establishing our chapter we invite students to step into one of the following set of roles:

·       Sponsorships/partnerships

·       Campus events

·       Broadening social media following

·       Event volunteers and growing

·       Executive team

All of us on the U of T executive team are incredibly excited to see what we are capable of achieving at our world class university. If any of these roles interest you or you would like to come out to one of our meetings, please use the email below to contact our President, Sophia Mashadi, for any further inquiry.

We are very active across social media. Check us out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, or visit our website for more information about our programming.  

Social Media links:

Instagram: nyantendefoundation,

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/NyantendeFoundation/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/edu4nyantende

Website : https://www.nyantendefoundation.org

Personal Statements:

President: Sophia Mashadi is a fourth-year University of St. Michael’s College (USMC) student double majoring in political science and history. Sophia is an alumna of the UTICA organization at the USMC campus and worked closely with the previous USMC student body council. She also enjoys continuously building community around the St. Mike’s campus. She is a ballet teacher and on her way to becoming a law student in the U.K.

Vice President: Victoria Lunetta is a second-year USMC student majoring in political science with a double minor in women’s studies and music history/culture. Victoria is an alumna of the Gilson Seminar at USMC and travelled to Rome last May with her class. She enjoys volunteering at St. Mike’s events and participating as a member of the U of T Music Committee.