Graduate student Daniel Socha works with a member of the Project Kirotshe running team on how to wash his running clothes. Democratic Republic of Congo, 2016. Image courtesy of Daniel Socha and Kent State University. Add this image to a lesson

Kent State University recognized Daniel Socha as one of the Pulitzer Center's 2016 Campus Consortium student fellows and highlighted his reporting on efforts to make education more accessible in Central Africa.

Socha, a global communication studies graduate student at Kent State, traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to report on Project Kirotshe, a non-profit that provides funding for youth in the village of Kirotshe and surrounding areas to attend school. His research on the non-profit organization’s efforts to support youth education in the DRC caught the attention of NPR.

In an interview with Kent State campus news, Socha reflected on the evolution of how people view the DRC and think about poverty, war and conflict:

“People always wonder, ‘Why a running team? How can running be so important?’” Socha said. “The youth who participate on the team learn to work together, they become responsible individuals, their time is occupied which keeps them from joining militias, school fees are paid for so they can attend classes and they gain a sense of hope for the future.”

See the lesson related to his reporting from our Lesson Builder tool.


Runners gather early on Sunday morning for a community race at the makeshift soccer field in Kirotshe.
Over the past two decades fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has torn through the region, leaving widespread poverty and hopelessness. Project Kirotshe helps one community rebuild hope through a youth running program.


Runners gather
August 31, 2016 / Untold Stories
Daniel Socha
Makorobondo "Dee" Salukombo, founder and coach of Project Kirotshe, explains the impact that this running program has on a group of youth in eastern Congo.
Kirotshe runners
August 9, 2016 /
kem knapp sawyer
Student Fellow Daniel Socha reports on how the DRC's Olympic runners are giving back at home.