Following two summers of COVID restrictions keeping our founder, Noella, at home in the UK, the Malaika team and Noella herself were delighted to be reunited for another exciting, inspiring and productive summer!
Noella places great importance on being on the ground and engaging with our community in order to better understand and meet their needs. Her two children joined her as they normally do, which is always a joy for Noella as they get involved and play their part in supporting the programs.
Working together in person with the team and launching several new elements to Malaika’s provision is always a key aspect of her visits and we’re excited to share everything that has taken place in the last few weeks.
As more of the world is starting to experience drought, water is perhaps being appreciated on a whole new level and the need for our community to access clean, potable water has been a key component of our service to the community in Kalebuka. Noella was extremely pleased to inaugurate two new wells during this trip, taking the total now to 27 built or refurbished that serve over 35,000 people.
These wells are powered by solar panels and were drilled in Sapirina and Kisaka.
We launched a new kindergarten class in our primary and secondary school for girls, taking the number of students to 430. A truly amazing number considering that almost all of them would not have been able to access a safe and quality education elsewhere. During her visit Noella met the new students starting in September and their parents and spent time getting to know them and introducing them to Malaika. This was highly beneficial as they are young and completely new to school.
Established in 2013, our community center continues to provide our youth and adults with skills to better their prospects, and we’re proud to be part of programs such as the National Institute for Vocational Preparedness, who are geared towards equipping our community with the necessary tools to pursue their careers.
Technical classes launched
Furthermore, at the start of her trip, Noella was able to host the launch of our new technical classes in collaboration with both Caterpillar Foundation and Congo Equipment and welcome special visitors to join the celebration. The program was launched by the President of Caterpillar, the CEO of Caterpillar Foundation, and the executive team of Congo Equipment. The Governor, Minister of Education and all of our long-time supporters and community members joined the celebration. To find out more about this, please check out this post.
Sport events for the community
It was amazing to have a couple of visitors who came and supported our sport programs, including Theresa, a sport teacher/specialist from the UK, who came to volunteer for five weeks and did sports with the girls and the community center. Also, several volunteers including Katie from MIT who taught lessons and discussed career paths, and Adeline of African Leadership Academy who discussed entrepreneurship and how to apply for university, shared their time and energy supporting us in person. There was also included a tennis tournament hosted at Malaika by a local organization for individuals in wheelchairs and a football match for deaf and mute adults.
Visits from Malaika supporters
During Noella’s visits there is the opportunity for us to grow our ecosystem of collaborators, supporters and volunteers as she and the team meet and connect with many people from various industries, including donors, sport, media and education as well as members of local government.
Our students and trainees benefited from visitors such as Congolese boxer, Yoann Kongolo, who shared some boxing skills with our youth. Local artists took some creative sessions with the students at Malaika school. The ladies who are part of our entrepreneurship and sewing program, Mama Ya Mapendo, enjoyed a visit from model and entrepreneur Nathalie Eoma, who shared some ideas and knowledge with our trainees.
We also had the honor of giving a guided tour of all of Malaika’s programs to Mr. Dikanga Kazadi, the Academic General Secretary of the University of Lubumbashi, who also spoke to students about the University.
Exploring future opportunities
In the coming year, our grade 6 secondary students will be graduating, so the team is highly focused on exploring the best opportunities for their continued education and training. The team visited a couple of local further education provisions, including the New Horizons University. The visit was not only inspiring for our Grade 6 students, whose dreams of attending university are now more possible than ever, but a true pinch-me moment for us all.
To further prepare them for their next steps, this summer our Grade 6 students set out on a two-week internship at a local company and benefited from a workshop, taught by Noella, where they were prepared with ample knowledge of what to expect from their experience in the workplace.
Noella visits other education providers
In order to make connections and inspire her and the team as they look to develop Malaika’s programs and access further education opportunities for future graduates, Noella visited the University of Lubumbashi, ECOPO, and the University Protestant of Lubumbashi (UNILU). She also visited other education providers that offer technical classes, including; INPP, ENABEL and the city of youth.
Team connection and development
We are grateful for our brilliant local team who are committed to implementing, teaching and offering their expertise in order to see Malaika grow and the students reach their full potential. It was also great to have our Director of Operations, Megan, join Noella and the team in the DRC for a week to further strengthen the team and their ability to work together internationally.
Our teaching staff undertook some teaching training with François, principal of Lycée Français in Zurich, which was important for their skills development as well as ensuring we can deliver a quality education to our students. This was François’ second time at Malaika, and we were so glad to have him again.
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Malaika’s staff consists of individuals who are passionate about education and about teaching and supporting the next group of leaders emerging from our student body. Therese Mabaka Angelani, kindergarten teacher, has been working for 10 years at Malaika, ever since the school opened its doors.⠀
“It is really great to see a school that emerges day to day, year by year, in which children who come in without a notion of education go out with an impressive intellectual, moral and physical training. My dream is to see some of the girls continuing the work that Malaika does by giving back to their communities and leading the school so that other children will be able to benefit from this education.”
As the Covid-19 crises has put much of the world on lockdown and led to widespread and myriad challenges on individuals and nations, our community in DRC has been directly impacted. With the onslaught of the virus, the price of food has increased by up to five times.
The Malaika team stepped in as quickly as we could to address this critical issue and meet the community’s need. During the first week of our recent fundraising campaign, we were able to distribute essentials such maize flour, rice, oil, beans and soap, to 60 families! These families were so grateful, and we cannot give out enough thanks to all the donors who supported this effort and the people of Kalebuka during this difficult time. Thank you!
To donate toward this campaign and help provide food for more families who need it, visit our campaign here.
Families across the DRC, and Africa as a whole, are facing daily struggles to get their food staples. Prices of maize meal and rice are skyrocketing, and the situation doesn’t appear to be easing in the near future.
With nutrition critical to staying healthy and boosting immune systems, eating healthy meals is more important now than ever before. At Malaika, we’re buying and distributing food across the village of Kalebuka. Help us enhance our reach by donating to our emergency fundraiser https://bit.ly/2V5otqq
Families across Democratic Republic of Congo are experiencing a food crisis. The COVID19 pandemic has caused the price of maize meal, a staple for many households, to increase fivefold, and the price of rice to double. This makes it extremely difficult for many area families to afford even the most basic food supplies.
At Malaika, we’re working around the clock to buy staple foods for our students and community center members and their families. We’re asking for your help in raising emergency funds to ensure that we’re reaching to the families who need us most. Visit https://bit.ly/2V5otqq to donate.
Malaika is one big family, and we leave nobody behind. While COVID19 in the DRC has led the government to call for a temporary closure of our school and community center, it doesn’t mean we can’t still provide support locally. As we navigate these difficult weeks & months ahead, we’re doubling down on our efforts to support the village of Kalebuka by distributing food staples and supplies, as well as organic produce from our very own farm!
But we need your help: With the price of local staple foods rising rapidly in recent days, we have created an emergency fundraiser so that we can make sure as many families as possible have what they need. Please help support this fundraiser here. Together, we can get through this.
Now more than ever, reliable access to water is essential. Water security has always been at the forefront of our community support, and times such as these are a reminder of the important role it plays in keeping people healthy. Safe water is necessary for drinking, cooking, cleaning and especially important right now- washing hands.
In Mahembe Village, we worked with community members to choose the site of our 20th well. A huge thanks to Angel Cosmetics Beauty for their partnership in bringing this essential resource to Mahembe!
At the Malaika school, our students learn about the importance of good hygiene and put it into practice! We are wishing good health and safety to all as we focus on keeping our students well.
As of February 7, Malaika has launched the sale of its bags and other accessories under the brand Mama Ya Mapendo (Mothers With Love) at Hyper Psaro supermarket. We sincerely thank Hyper Psaro for this goodwill in joining us to sustain all our programs and for believing in Malaika for so many years.
We also thank all the mothers who participated in the production for their steadfast courage in learning and practicing these concepts. In addition to hand making their craft, these women come to read, write and learn entrepreneurship skills at the community center.
This success would not be possible without the commitment of our wonderful staff and that of our volunteers throughout the world who have worked hard to achieve tangible results.
We encourage everyone to visit the supermarket Hyper Psaro and buy our bags and accessories, all of which are made and are also available at our Malaika school or our community center in Kalebuka.