Poiema International Academy

A Classical Christian School

Small Beginnings

Poiema International Academy is a K-12 Classical Christian school start-up located in Ma campagne, Kinshasa, in the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Poiema follows the American education system and completed its first academic year 2021 – 2022 at the end of May. PIA is currently in preparation for its first preschool program for the 2022 – 2023 academic year. The school plans to add a grade at a time each year. Poiema is investigating the possibility of accepting a limited number of students in the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 8th grade for September 2022. For more information, please contact us at kinacademy7@gmail.com.

The Need In Congo

Poiema was born out of a need to strengthen God’s people living and serving in the DRC. Kinshasa is a difficult place to live and serve for most people. It is a challenge for Congolese who have suffered through endless poverty, war, diseases, and corruption, just as it can be discouraging for expatriate families who have left home and family to come make a difference where it is most needed. Both long to provide their children with schooling that is academically rigorous, rich in extra-curricular activities, and faithful in the spiritual formation of its students. Poiema endeavors to meet this great need, by God’s grace.

The Founding of Poiema

The school was started by Kahindo Mbodwam, a Congolese mother of four children, married to Emmanuel Mbodwam who serves as a missionary pilot with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF). The Mbodwam family returned to Congo in 2017 after living, studying, and working in the US and Europe for most of their lives. Kahindo earned her bachelor’s degree in education at Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, and her master’s degree in education, teaching and training in Aix-en-Provence, France. The Mbodwams are involved in youth ministry and young adult leadership at the International Protestant Church of Kinshasa where they worship. You can read more about Kahindo’s life journey to opening Poiema in The Classical Difference, a US based classical Christian education magazine.

Poiema (poy’-ay-mah)

The word Poiema comes from the Greek word “workmanship” found in Ephesians 2:10. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”  Another way to think of it is as a masterpiece or “That which has been made,” by God. As a poem is made with thought and care, we see our students as unique individuals made in the image of God to be treated with love, patience, and care. As Poiema students experience God’s love and care from teachers, students, and staff, they in turn, learn to love others.


We long to see believers in Congo strengthened in the knowledge of God and His word, living out the teachings of scripture, transformed unto good works to the glory of God.

Sundial Clock in science with Ms. Hochstetler


Poiema International Academy cultivates wisdom and virtue in students, through the study of the liberal arts, meditating on the true, the good, and the beautiful.

Chalk art during art class with Ms. Carlson

The graduate

Our hope at Poiema International Academy is to forge students of strong Christian character full of wisdom and virtue.  Students able to perceive God’s truth, goodness, and beauty in the world around them as they learn to live with others in community.  We prepare students who will become knowledgeable, skilled, and competent leaders in their community, excelling in their respective fields.  We teach students to love and serve others as they grow to experience God’s love and care in their own lives from teachers, other students, and staff.

Association Membership

Poiema International Academy is a member of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI)

Click on logo for the ACSI website

Poiema International Academy is also a member of Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS)

Click on logo for the ACCS website