The manager of our Kalebuka Football for Hope Center, Willy Kyapi, recently attended a forum focusing on the administration of community-wide programs. The forum was held in South Africa and was organized by FIFA and streetfootballworld. Willy was thrilled to have the opportunity to travel and to learn new techniques that will help carry out his duties at the Center.

Willy shared his experience with us:

“I learned about measuring results, impact, success indicators, hypotheses, and more. We also learned about resource mobilization and of constantly asking how to make our processes better and more efficient. I concluded from this training that repetition and practice are the keys to making our processes here at the Center, such as lessons, student portfolios, and managing training schedules, as smooth as possible. The training sharpened my skills on everything from organization to speech delivery. I would like to thank all the facilitators who were at the conference, all of whom I admire very much.”

One World Futbol Project is a new partner that has donated 5,500 One World Futbols to be distributed in the Katanga Province. One World Futbol Project makes, sells and disseminates the One World Futbol, a nearly indestructible ball that never needs a pump and never goes flat, even when punctured. Malaika will be distributing this generous gift to the different villages, NGOs, orphanages, and communities that work with youth in the area, providing them with an opportunity to gather and play.

We would like to thank Sandra Cress, the Director of One World Futbol, for attending the opening ceremony of our Kalebuka Football for Hope Center.

Sandra said,
The One World Futbol Project has been blessed to have Chevrolet as our Founding Sponsor.  Through this partnership, Chevrolet is supporting our donation of our nearly-indestructible balls around the world.  It was thrilling to contribute to the incredible work of Malaika in Kalebuka with a donation of 5400 soccer balls. Malaika is a reputable and impactful partner, changing the lives of children in Kalebuka and beyond.  Through the vision of Malaika, these balls will help children throughout Katanga region have sustainable access to play. At the launch of the FIFA Football for Hope Center, I was deeply moved to witness the hope and aspirations of the girls in the Malaika School.  Every child should have the same opportunities to learn that Malaika has given these children. We are grateful to be a part of this powerful movement, and I expect that this is just the beginning of our relationship with Malaika and with Congo. Noëlla is inspirational, and her team tireless!”

One of our most prized volunteers has brought her vitality to the school!

Elena, a graphic designer and loyal supporter of Malaika, recently visited Kalebuka to help facilitate activities, teach, and create opportunities for our girls at our school. This trip enabled the village to meet one of Malaika’s most devoted volunteers and to be able to work directly with her on the ground.  Elena worked at the School while she was on the ground, both with our girls and their teachers.

Elena shared her thoughts on the trip:

For three and a half years, I have volunteered on Malaika’s communications team, yet I had never met a single person connected to Malaika. Living in Australia and New Zealand has made face-to-face contact impossible. To make things even more unusual, I had never been to the DRC, or even to Africa. However, I am passionate about equality and education; so when I heard about the work Malaika was doing in Kalebuka, I felt compelled to help in any way I could.

It really was a dream come true when I was selected for Malaika’s volunteer program and found myself flying from Wellington to Lubumbashi in September.

The first thing that struck me about the Malaika School was that it could have been any school in USA or Europe. The children were just as delightful (and naughty) as you or I were when we were little. In fact the school was significantly nicer than the one I went to in Scotland.

The second thing I noticed was the attitude of the staff at the School and Football for Hope Center. Everybody impressed me, from the school cook to the administrator; but the teachers are truly inspirational. The care and attention that all the teachers displayed was wonderful, they work every single day to ignite sparks of knowledge and to encourage their pupils to enjoy learning.

Through my time in Kalebuka I realized that one of the biggest challenges is not simply to provide opportunities, but to make people recognize that these opportunities are available to them. People don’t ask themselves what they ‘want to be’; the immediate issues of daily survival takes priority, but this is a question which is being asked more frequently in Kalebuka, as more people are inspired through Malaika & FFH and are given the tools they need to succeed.

Elena Visit - 2
Teaching the children Old MacDonald had a Farm, with finger puppets.

Elena Visit - 4
With the teachers & staff.

Elena Visit - 3
Elena donated a suitcase full of teaching aids.

We tragically lost two young members of the Kalebuka community last month.

We  were deeply saddened to hear the news that Sabine Kyabutembo, a young woman living in the village of Kalebuka and older sister to one of our students, died from complications caused after contracting an infection. She was always eager to help around the School, without expecting anything in return. At just 19 years of age Sabine surely had dreams. Sadly, Sabine will not see those hopes realized. An infection like Sabine’s should have been easily cured. In a country like DRC many preventable diseases go untreated only to become life threatening due to lack of access to medicine and healthcare services. Sabine’s death is just one more added to countless in the DRC that seems senseless in light of simple solutions that can put an end to such needless loss.

Preventable too was the sad loss of Mutombo Nelly, mother to one of our students Nyekoso, who died at the age of 30 of malaria.

These stories highlight the great need in the community for the Kalebuka Football for Hope Center which we are building in partnership with FIFA and Street Football World. The Center will bring much valued health care to the inhabitants of Kalebuka, serving as a base for sport, education, health and enterprise in the community.

Our girls have the opportunity to learn life-skills at the Malaika School.

Agriculture is a large part of our curriculum and all 180 of our girls have the opportunity to learn how to create a sustainable source of food. Watching our girls interact with the environment keeps us confident that we are pushing the entire community towards a brighter future! Above you can see photos of the girls having a fun day picking papayas and visiting a local farm.

A very dear friend of Malaika, Delphine Luboz from Architecture for Humanity, recently visited Kalebuka and helped plant trees both at the School and the community center. We were thrilled to watch Delphine teach our students about her work, reinforcing the importance of caring for the environment. The youth from across the village also had a chance to interact with Delphine and plant trees across the grounds.


This month we shine the spotlight on Malaika volunteer Adriana Henriquez. She has been part of the Malaika team since 2007; along with other tasks, Adriana has been handling financial matters with  great efficiency. Her background in the development and implementation of the telecommunications sector of Africa led her to focus on the wellbeing of the area as a whole.

Here’s what she has to say about her experience at Malaika:

I’m a firm believer that access to a great education is the seed of change. From a very young age, I learned that a candle that shares its flame continues to shine bright, and as such, I feel that I am in a position to pass on the good fortune and benefits reaped from the great education that my parents offered to me.

Although I live over 8,000 miles from Katanga, there has not been a day in the past five years in which I have not heard the news of progress in the village. As much as we would like to think that those we help are the sole benefactors of our actions, I have become part of a feedback system that has strengthened me as a human being far beyond my wildest imagination.

The girls of the school have put countless smiles on my face, stemming from day-to-day pictures, as well as seeing their improved health, drawings and infectious dancing. The dedication from our local DRC team makes me want to work harder to continue in our growth and the continued support and praise of our donors gives me an immense sense of accomplishment in knowing that we are fulfilling our mission each and every day.”

Malaika would like to extend a large thank you to Mr. Guy Robert for his continuous support of our work and recent visit to the school.

Our beautiful teacher Ms. Maguy Kasongo Zaina, teaching her class. Her smile and kind heart shines everyday. Our girls could not learn from a more inspirational woman.

Maguy attended the Institute Superieur des Techniques Medicales in Lubumbashi and has continued her education by attending many seminars in finance management, education in mathematics, and science, history of the school system, teaching languages, and education.

Maguy has many years of experience in the education field which includes teaching second grade, fourth grade and sixth grade, as well as working as a school principal.

She believes that the Malaika School is fighting for the future of DRC by working to eradicate children’s illiteracy. By teaching the girls, she hopes to make the girls feel a sense of responsibility for their futures and not feel inferior to their male peers. She wants to instill a sense of confidence in her students so that they dedicate themselves to improving their country. It is this feeling of empowerment that motivates her as she teaches the girls.