The Swahili word for ‘angel’ is malaika

The mission of Malaika* is to empower Congolese girls and their communities through education. Based in New York, the organization operates in the village of Kalebuka, in the Southeastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

*Formally known as the Georges Malaika Foundation

An educated girl will increase her future earnings by approximately 10-20% for each additional year of schooling and will reinvest most of it back into her family and community. These are key factors in a nation’s socioeconomic development, and yet girls still face immense obstacles in obtaining an education in the DRC. At Malaika, we mobilize resources so that these girls can receive the best schooling possible, providing them with greater choices, opportunities, and the capacity to make informed decisions.  Our goal is to build the leadership capacity of each individual student so that she gives back to her community, and has a positive, long-term impact on the future of the DRC.  In essence, we are fueling a generation of change-agents. At the same time, we impact the surrounding community through recreational and life skills programming for adults and children, as well as essential infrastructure development.

With the exception of the locally hired Congolese teachers and support staff, Malaika is operated by unpaid experts and volunteers from the public and private sector.

Our work takes three distinct paths:


Malaika School

The Malaika School is a free, accredited school that is providing a quality education to 275 girls in Kalebuka.  The School aims to build the leadership of its girls so that they commit themselves to being change-agents in their community and have a long-term, lasting impact on the DRC. Our holistic curriculum includes classes in English and French, math, science, health and civic education, as well as art, music and theater programs. Students receive two healthy meals a day and participate in sports activities twice a week. Malaika provides a fully comprehensive program for the girls which includes school supplies and uniforms.

Our other community projects:

New Beginning Project

New Beginnings, Malaika’s first and longest running project, is a sponsorship program which supports a group of abandoned and orphaned girls in Lubumbashi, DRC. Malaika finances the girls’ school expenses and contributes to Maison Magone, the orphanage where they live.

Malaika collaborated with FIFA and streetfootballworld to build the Kalebuka Football for Hope Center. This community center uses health, education, and football programs as social development tools to improve the quality of life of 7,000 people in the community.

Project Cure - 1

Together with Project C.U.R.E., Malaika has facilitated the shipment of 15 containers of medical equipment to the region’s hospitals, helping to bring the mortality rate down and improving outcomes for patients.

Malaika Founder Noella Coursaris Musunka explains her life’s work – giving back to her beloved community in the DRC.

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