A Birthday Success

Noella’s virtual birthday party Dec. 5 was a huge success- and a great time! Our performers – Kaori Fujii, Inna Modja and of course Malaika students – were amazing and entertaining. It was amazing to hear directly from several of our Community Center participants on how they’ve been impacted and empowered through seeking out Malaika. And so many special guests popped in to say hello!

Noella and Dora Muanda, a STEM expert who has spent a lot of time at Malaika were able to speak on the importance of technology in our programming and also what to expect moving forward. All in all, it was a beautiful event to celebrate Noella’s birthday through celebrating all of the individual, life-changing facets that make up Malaika. We were blown away at how successful our fundraiser was!

With nearly $70,000 raised so far, we will be able to grow programming at our Community Center and provide more women, men and youth the tools they need to empower themselves.

You can still donate to this important campaign for several more weeks here. Give today!

Tennis continues to be an increasingly popular sport among Malaika’s girls, as they continue to up their game and achieve. Our student Louise, who has excelled in tennis throughout the past few years, recently had the opportunity to travel with the Mazembe Sports Club to compete in a tennis tournament.

This is an incredible opportunity she was able to take part in because of her hard work and dedication, and it’s sure to expand her horizons. We’re so proud of Louise and of all of our girls for their drive in school and on the court.

Our students are heading into the new school year ready to learn, to think, to innovate, to play and to take on the world.

Despite the difficulties of the last year and a half, our girls have continued to excel in their various fields, diving into ever-more advanced technologies, achieving in sports, embracing their creative sides and looking toward their futures. Read on about our latest news, our goals and our upcoming plans.

Malaika Wins Award!

Literacy has long been at the core of Malaika’s work both within our school and community center. We believe the ability to read is a basic but crucial skill to everyone in our community should have access. We were incredibly honored and proud, therefore, to win a World Literacy Foundation award last month! Read more about this amazing accomplishment here.

Growing Within and Moving Up

Since our foundation nearly 15 years ago, we’ve regularly increased our student body as capacity allows in order to impact more girls and send an even wider ripple throughout the Kalebuka community. We’re proud to now welcome 400 girls through our doors each day, girls who will teach the skills and knowledge they learn at school to siblings, neighbors and even parents. An educated woman is very likely to give back to her community, and we’re seeing this statistic become a reality through our students and their families.

As we grow our school, our first classes of students are quickly approaching graduation. We’re in the midst of establishing relationships with universities near and far, in order to gain a better understanding of how we can best prepare our students to pursue higher education. We’re also collaborating with nearby industry leaders in order to create internship opportunities in relevant, lucrative fields such as electrics and engineering. It’s very exciting to imagine our students’ future successes, and we’re laying the groundwork to allow them to pursue whatever paths they wish.

Change a Life, Empower a Village: Sponsor a Malaika Girl

We’re in the midst of a campaign to give more girls the incredible gift of an all-encompassing, accredited education that will propel them into a healthy, successful future, and we need your help. 

A sponsorship is an incredibly impactful action that will change a girl’s life without significantly impacting your budget. Whether you skip one dinner out each month or share the $65/month fee with 11 friends, you can be connected with your own student and follow her progress throughout the school year. 

Help us find sponsors for 10 new girls this year, so these incredibly driven, potential-filled young women can have the chance to choose their own lives, paths and future. Read more about the joys of sponsorship here, or sign up to sponsor a girl

“Every human being on our planet deserves an education, and it is a great honour to be able to help in a very small way to make that happen,” says Malaika advisory board member and sponsor Rosie Rafferty.

“I’ve been sponsoring Carmelie for a few years now and will make sure I can carry on doing so until she finishes her education. I know by helping Carmelie get a good education she will be able to help her family and others when she is older so there is a ripple effect. What Malaika provides for children is not just a great education but also healthcare, food, clothing and a safe and nurturing environment.

The school is run by an excellent dedicated team, and I know every penny I give is spent on helping the girls achieve their dreams and potential.”

Rosie loves the wide impact she knows she is making through her sponsorship and believes others should follow suite.

“There are still many girls at the school who need sponsors so if you are in a position to help and make a difference please do!” To sponsor and become connected with your own girl, email us at info@malaika.org or donate here today.

Literacy plays a huge role in Malaika’s work with all members of the community, from mothers to daughters and fathers to sons. That’s why we were so deeply honored and proud to win the World Literacy Foundation’s award for significant contribution to literacy by an organization at the World Literacy Awards!

We strive to educate our community in order to empower them to pursue their own dreams and write their own lives, and it is incredible to be recognized for our work in Kalebuka.

According to Andrew Kay, CEO of the World Literacy Foundation, “The World Literacy Awards put a spotlight on people and organizations who are doing exemplary and innovative work in the
literacy sector.”

“The pandemic has caused serious disruption in the lives of children learning to read and write, particularly those from low-income homes with limited access to books, education resources
and online learning tools. Malaika’s exemplary work in changing the lives of thousands of young people, mainly girls, through education, skills and improved living conditions is awe-inspiring. The judges were taken aback by the achievements and contributions to literacy by this organization,” he said.

Noella, who has devoted her time to growing Malaika with her team for nearly 15 years, was overcome with tears of joy when Malaika’s name was announced and she accepted the award.

“I feel humbled, emotional and proud to say that Malaika has received the 2021 World Literacy Awards. Over the past 14 years, Malaika has grown into a fully-fledged ecosystem that brings education, healthcare, and clean water to an entire community in the Congo. I believe every child should be able to access an education, and that’s why it’s such an honor to receive this prestigious award,” she said.

We know the importance of literacy and education in general, and we’re looking ahead to the learning that is still to come.

For Lumière Bwana Nsenga, the feelings toward her sponsor go beyond a formal relationship. She considers her sponsor to be like a mother to her, because in her eyes, her sponsor cares for her as she would for a daughter.

“She helps me by paying for my studies and spending her money, so I can study in better conditions and have a quality education,” says Lumière, a 7th primary student at Malaika.

“Education is so important, because through it I can make my dreams come through, prepare well for my future and help members of my community.” Our students love catching up with their sponsors, and sponsors are always delighted to learn about their students’ personalities, latest news, dreams, families and progress in school. To join in on this incredibly special relationship, email us at info@malaika.org or donate here to connect with your own student!

“Meeting Noëlla was the first step in my journey to sponsoring a student at Malaika. Hearing about her journey with creating Malaika from the ground up inspired me to find out more. I started sponsoring the lovely Godlive about four years ago with my husband Matt and it has been a privilege to help support her with these formative years of education, opening up her potential to follow her dreams. 

Throughout my time sponsoring Godlive, I have come to know the wider Malaika community and now consider myself very much part of the family. My younger sister and her flatmates also clubbed together to sponsor a student collectively. It’s been wonderful to introduce friends and family into the community too.”

For Anoiritte Monga Nsenga, education is the most important pillar of life.

“If a woman is educated, she becomes useful to her family, to and in her community, and in short, to society,” the 4th primary student says. But her education might not have been possible without her sponsor, who she sees as a parent who took on the responsibility of ensuring she would attend school.

“My sponsor helps me by paying for my studies and giving me everything (school supplies, food at school, my uniforms, my sports clothes), so she helps me while considering me to be her own daughter. Her sponsor, Malaika Program Assistant Marta Reed, agrees there is a special connection between her family and her sponsor girl.

“Sponsoring Anoritte is not only special because we are supporting her education, but it opens the eyes of my children to know she is the same age as my eldest daughter and to see how differently they are going through life. It teaches my children and me that we need to be grateful for what we have, and education is something that brings people together no matter their background,” Reed says.

Anoiritte is one of so many girls from the Kalebuka area, who have incredible drive and a passion for learning but whose families could not afford to send them to school. Sponsoring a girl is an incredible gift that changes her life, her family’s life and that of the greater community, while creating a lifelong bond between sponsor and student. We’re searching for sponsors for 10 girls for the new school year. Consider becoming a sponsor today- we’ll send you updates on your student several times each year and you can keep in touch if you’d like through letters, emails or even Skype. Email us at info@malaika.org or sign up at www.malaika.org/donate.

When Ziada first came to us two years ago, she wanted to learn literacy. After giving birth, her family could no longer afford to send her to school, and she knew Malaika’s programming is offered free of charge.

She has grown into a key player in daily life at our community center, who helps mark the beginning and end of teaching periods with whistling. She is a very determined, disciplined and fierce girl, and we know her future is bright.