On Thursday, December 01, 2016, we celebrated World AIDS Day at the Kalebuka Football for Hope Center. The goal was to raise awareness about the disease and how to fight against its spread. The day was comprised of three activities to educate young people in attendance about HIV/AIDS.
On the field, we had 28 young people (girls and boys) who participated actively in the games. Malaika’s eldest students (30 girls in Grade 6) were also invited, as well as all the youth at the Center.
During our discussions, we found that some young people who were recently enrolled at the Community Center did not have an accurate knowledge of HIV, its mode of transmission or the means of protection.
We used the curriculum from our partner Coaches Across Continents, which included these games:
1. CAN ADEBAYOR SEE HIV? The coach asks players to close their eyes and have one player take a small stone, which represents HIV. When the coach asks the players to open their eyes and guess who has the piece of stone, it proved that it was difficult to find. The message was that you can’t look at someone and see who is HIV-positive and who isn’t. It is important that you and your partner are tested.
2. ADEBAYOR USES A CONDOM TAG: In this game, young people were shown how HIV can spread rapidly in a community that ignores modes of transmission. We asked the attendees to come up with good choices in order to limit the spread. We then talked about using a condom and its benefits.
3. ADEBAYOR HANDS AGAINST HIV: In this game, the player who is in the middle of the group must make a good choice to protect himself against a ball (the symbol of HIV in the game); the more choices you make, the more you are protected against the virus.
The young people enjoyed the games, which they said “will allow us to remember knowledge about HIV because they were practical.”
In December 2015, Miriam, one of our students in Grade 1, passed away due to an illness. The lack of proper health facilities in Kalebuka meant that Miriam did not receive the care she needed. Malaika desperately needs your help building a student health center to ensure a tragedy like Miriam’s does not happen again.
The village in which we operate does not have any clinics. Although Malaika provides two health checks a year, we would like to increase the frequency of these and dedicate a space for the health of our students and where a doctor can conduct exams. The health center will provide our staff, families and supporters with peace of mind while the girls attend classes with a doctor nearby.
Many illnesses and conditions in DR Congo are preventable and treatable, like diarrhea, cholera, and malnutrition, yet students cannot attend school because they are not diagnosed or don’t have access to basic medical care, supplies and medications.
With your help, we can save lives, and stop treatable illnesses from getting in the way of a girl’s education! Please help us build an infirmary at Malaika by visiting www.malaika.org/donate or www.crowdrise.com/student-health-center-/fundraiser/emmaletcher .
The girls have drawn this picture to reflect what Malaika means to them. The tree is a symbol of strength that offers “fruits” such as confidence, leadership, and hope. Each branch represents the volunteers that keep Malaika going.
You can keep empowering the Malaika girls by following this link: www.malaika.org/donate .
Malaika was honored to welcome an outstanding person to our team this year. Moise Lumbala Nguz, our new Assistant for 3rd grade, holds Malaika’s qualities in his outstanding character, charisma, and goal of empowering girls through education. These things, alongside his incredible ability to work with our other staff members, prove that he will be able to make incredible progress for the Malaika School and our girls. Our Country Director, Sarah Kalumba, had the opportunity to sit down with him and ask some questions.
Sarah Kalumba: First off, Moise, welcome to Malaika! We’re very happy to have you here. My first question is, why did you want to become a teacher at Malaika?
Moise Lumbala Nguz: I came into the organisation with a vision to help make Malaika’s dream a reality by using what I’ve gained from my teaching career. I want to help empower the girls to make them tomorrow’s leaders.
SK: What are you most excited about as a teacher at Malaika’s School for Girls?
MLN: I have seen gender discrimination firsthand and want to fight to teach girls and women their true value. By achieving this, women and girls will know they are capable of overcoming any kind of situation that they encounter in their lives because they are educated. In my country, as everywhere else, women are capable of accomplishing many things and sometimes they don’t realize their strength. Malaika is inspiring the people who will influence our world tomorrow and this is what makes me most excited because I know that what I do today will impact the world tomorrow.
SK: How was your very first day teaching?
MLN: My first day of teaching was great. I found the integration into the staff to be easy as everyone was so friendly and accommodating. I also had a great reception from the Malaika girls. Everything was fantastic!
“Hi I’m Harmonie and I’m in fourth grade!”
Harmonie is excelling as she enters her fourth year at the Malaika School. Harmonie works hard in her classes to keep her grades up. She loves participating in music classes and playing with her friends in between classes.
You can empower Harmonie for a month or watch her grow for an entire year. To find out how, visit malaika.org/donate.
“Hi I’m Audience and I’m in 6th grade!”
Audience was a part of the inaugural class at the Malaika School and has grown immensely since she joined us. She has made very good grades and continues to be an active participant in all of her classes. Her teachers speak fondly of her and she aspires to do the best in all the class subjects she takes.
You can empower Audience for a month or an entire year by following this link www.malaika.org/donate .
“Hello my name is Tendresse and I am in 1st Grade”
Tendresse is a first grade student at the Malaika School. She received very high marks on her exams last year, totalling 92.5%. In her classes she takes part in many subjects, including English, French, science, math, history, and reading. Tendresse enjoys her physical education classes, where she gets to play soccer and tennis and she loves going to school to see her friends.
You can sponsor Tendresse for a month or an entire year and watch her grow and learn. Please visit malaika.org/donate to learn more about how you can empower Tendresse.