Noella’s virtual birthday party was a resounding success! Hundreds of friends, supporters and members of our global community gathered together for a Zoom celebration that felt quite intimate.
We’d like to thank Karina Nagin for the absolutely beautiful job she did hosting, Lokua Kanza and his fellow musicians for a gorgeous and inspiring performance and everyone else who made this event happen. It was truly special to have so many members of our extended family across the world in one ‘room.’ We learned so much about how Malaika is continuing to make an impact from our special guests and are excited for what is coming up this year and into the future!
We loved having a chance to get to know several students more deeply, and we can never get enough of their singing and dancing. And what a blast to hear poems and well wishes from so many of Noella’s friends, and to join her in blowing out her birthday candles.
The event was not only meant to celebrate Noella and everything Malaika, but also to serve as a fundraiser to help us make up for hardship due to COVID-19. We raised $14,000 in one hour! That is truly amazing. By the end of the year, Noella’s birthday fundraiser had raised more than $30,000. This money will go toward our STEM program, maintaining teachers salaries and providing all the tools necessary for Malaika’s school to thrive. We cannot begin to express all of the thanks we feel toward our amazing supporters, who have stayed with us despite such difficult global circumstances. You make it possible for us to empower our girls and their community in Kalebuka through education, healthcare and so many other measures.
Noella pours her entire self into being the driving force behind Malaika, but she always takes the spotlight off her herself and instead shines it on our students, staff and community. It was so fantastic to be able to recognize her and everything she does by celebrating Malaika. We’re already looking forward to our next event!