So where did you go on vacation last summer?  Disney, the Outer Banks, Myrtle Beach, London?  Dan Torsiello used his time off to visit the DR Congo, a country in Central Africa.  The Central Regional High School World and African history teacher and three-sport coach was fulfilling a lifetime goal of visiting the endangered mountain gorilla but when his guide suggested a side trip to a local orphanage Torsiello  took him up on the offer.

What he saw was poverty, children who often ate just once a day and conditions far different from what existed at home.  At the urging of his guide Christian who would become a friend he raised $1400 from family and friends which helped buy 3,000 pounds of food distributed to three local orphanages.

However there was more.  Another side trip took Dan to Goma, a city of about 700,000 and the capital of the North Kivu province.  He visited some of the surrounding rural villages and their so-called schools which lacked basic necessities including walls and proper seating.  It was there that he and Christian decided to team up and build a new school which would consist of six classrooms, two offices and even facilities for four toilets.  The cost was estimated to be about $8300 but they figured to budget additional money for overages.

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And so the Kivu Project was born with Torsiello aiming to raise $10,000 for construction which would take place this fall.  The plan is for him and his girlfriend to return to the region during the NJEA convention this November and be there when the project is completed which is just before he focuses on his position as the head girls basketball coach.

So far a GoFundMe effort has raised just over half of the goal and along with that there will be a fundraiser on Tuesday, May 17 at Miss Mindy’s Ice Cream in Bayville from 4-9pm in which Dan will be there to answer any questions.  If you could like to donate or learn more about this amazing effort visit



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