Not only is our school looking more and more colorful and beautiful, but our students have been loving the chance to paint murals! Another one of our walls is now covered in cool art through our partnerships with international artists. We’re so grateful to Yann Kwete and Kub’art Gallery for working with us on this creative project.
Jocelyne was born into a family of seven children, with four sisters and two brothers. Her father abandoned them when she was 8 years old, and she has since lived wither her mother, who raises her children along while working in the fields. Despite this background, which might otherwise limit a young Congolese girl’s chances of success, she found hope first at our community center and then at Malaika School.
Now, Jocelyne is in the 8th grade and describes herself as “full of dreams.”
“The biggest opportunity Malaika has given me is to have access to quality education, but free of charge. Because from the moment I started my education, my whole life has changed. I knew how to erase the childhood wounds of the abandonment of my father, I found a family as large with kind people who accommodated me in their hearts like their own daughter,” she says.
“Today I am fulfilled, I have dreams as well as ambitions for the future, something that many of my friends did not have for lack of this opportunity that I had.” We’re so grateful to Jocelyne for sharing her story, which inspires us to reach more people who need support.
Jacquie, a mother of 8 daughters and 2 sons, felt powerless in her roles at home.
“Surely it is a hard life for me as the husband is the only provider of the home, and I do not have the right sometimes to certain privileges as a woman because I make no contribution.” With her children attending Malaika’s school, she began working as a volunteer at our community center and took classes as well.
“Malaika took care of my children at school and at the community center, where they receive education for free. I am really relieved because I could not do it because of the low income that we have at home,” Jacquie says.
She says the opportunity to learn a trade through cutting and sewing training at Malaika has given her a leg up.
“Today I can work in a workshop and be useful in my home. I can also read, write, calculate … My whole life has really changed.” We’re so grateful to have such a strong woman as part of our community, one who is so dedicated she has even come to help out at Malaika during lockdown due to Covid-19. What an inspiring story!
We are so excited to announce our host for the next webinar in our Malaika Speaks! series on Wednesday, June 24th at 3pm London / 10am NYC, Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter, actress, co-host of The Talk and Malaika ambassador, Eve! Eve has visited our school and programs in DRC, and she has remained very involved with our work for years. We cannot thank her enough for all of her support.
This event will introduce more students—Lauriane, Esther, Mwamini, Feliciane and Miji—to their friends worldwide, as well as Mama Liliane from Kalebuka, head cook at the school, who prepares food for nearly 400 people daily and one of many women who have been playing a vital role in our response to Covid-19.
Also joining are Strong, who has been with us for 7 years first as a student and now as a coach and volunteer at our community center, and Jonathan, one of the boys at our community center. These two have shown such bright determination that we’re sponsoring them on to further education. Special guests will include Malaika CFO Adriana’s son Francesco and Board Member Alain’s daughter Zaina, who has visited our programs in DRC. Advisory Board member Marjorie will join us to discuss her current trainings with our teachers, her time spent in-country and the important role of technology in Malaika’s educational offerings.
The response to our first webinar was overwhelmingly positive. Five of our students, Louise, Jeanne, Dorcas, Carmelie and Suze, as well as Maman Flavie from our community center and several of our incredible teachers shared their stories with more than 300 people across the globe. It was a very special hour filled with insights, inspiration and honest conversation. June Sarpong, OBE, was an amazing host, who connected our girls with their audience while asking them important, timely questions. Watch a recap of the event here.
We hope you can join in on the conversation on June 24. Free registration is required at tinyurl.com/MalaikaSpeaksEve.
Several of our girls had a wonderful interview with cofounder and creative director of Eco-Age, Livia Firth, this past week! The students talked about their lives with Covid-19, their educations and their dream careers, including IT scientists, chemists, teachers and even pilots.
Can’t wait to have you at Malaika when time allows Livia- thank you for all of your support over the years!
These past few weeks surrounding World Environment Day, we’ve been focusing on the environment and sustainability and Malaika’s initiatives that relate to these important focal points. We asked a few staff members and students to share their thoughts on environmental education and the importance of Malaika’s approach. See Gloria’s Chabu’s thoughts below!
What have you learned at Malaika about the environment / sustainability?
I learned that the environment is any natural object which surrounds us which we have the obligation to use it rationally for not only our interest but also for that of the others.
Why is this important?
This is very important because it is everyone’s responsibility to become aware of the urgency of protecting the environment. Nature is so beautiful, and we have to preserve it.
What do you try to teach people in your village about taking care of their environment?
I try to educate people (friends) not to throw waste on the ground, not to use plastic packaging, not to cut trees and not to burn to produce smoke in large quantities.
Thank you, Gloria!