Upgrading the school infirmary at Mbata-Kiela’s junior seminary, a vital issue for the students. 



Christian Levo, congratulations on receiving this prize from the Institut Cerba! Can you tell us about the project that it’s going to help finance?  


This Institut Cerba prize is going to support improvements to the school infirmary at the junior seminary in Mbata-Kiela, located in the West of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This seminary, which is run by priests, currently has around a hundred students on its roll doing their secondary studies there. At the moment, the school infirmary is managed by the students themselves under the supervision of the priests. They don’t have sufficient medical equipment, nor indeed a regular doctor.  

The project therefore aims to arrange free monthly medical consultations for the students, carried out by former seminarians who have become doctors and who have offered to help on a voluntary basis. The Institut Cerba prize will finance the purchase of essential equipment such as beds, mattresses, sheets, medicine cabinets, stethoscopes and thermometers, as well as medicines (analgesics, antiemetics, antibiotics, dewormers, iron supplements and so forth).  



Why is this project particularly close to your heart?  


I was a student at the Mbata-Kiela junior seminary myself and, as a result of the inadequate medical care, my schooling was marked by many absences while I endured regular bouts of malaria. To use the famous Latin quote “Mens sana in corpore sano” (a healthy mind in a healthy body), I am convinced that children will not benefit fully from their education unless they are in good health.  

More recently, I was deeply touched by the fate of a seminary student who succumbed to typhoid fever having failed to receive a timely diagnosis and the appropriate treatment. 



This is not the first time you have done something in support of the Mbata-Kiela seminary. Your association also organized the donation of thousands of books to its library.


The textbooks available to students at the Mbata-Kiela seminary were literally falling to pieces, and so I set up a fundraising project to buy some and have them delivered. To date, 20 convoys have delivered a total of 3,541 books, as well as 1,755 pens. The most difficult aspect there was to gain the trust of donors, because projects of this type are frequently discredited by embezzlement. 

In organizing the project to upgrade the school infirmary I was able to put to good use the know-how and the credibility we gained from that previous experience.  

Mens sana in corpore sano: I am convinced that children will not benefit fully from their education unless they are in good health.

Christian Levo

Cytology technician at Cerba Path Belgium

How did you react when you learned that your project had been selected? 


The announcement of the results felt like a dream becoming reality, yet also as the culmination of a carefully considered undertaking. I am extremely grateful to the Institut Cerba for providing this substantial material support to our initiative. 

The announcement also coincided with the death of my father, who had been a doctor committed to helping underprivileged communities in the DRC. I have the sense that we are perpetuating his action a little. And more than ever, I believe that from up there, he continues to be proud of me. This love for my community and my country, and the desire to commit myself to them, they came from my father. 



Is there a final message you would like to pass on? 


As someone passionate about literature and the author of a collection of poems, I would like to conclude with two lines: 

“In this world undermined by indifference, 

I speak for those who take a different path. 

In this world of opulence, 

I echo the cries of poverty. »