Although the girls were taking a well-deserved break, activities and training at the School and the community center continued apace during the holidays. At the Malaika School, we place great emphasis on the ability of our teachers to deliver a quality education to the girls. To enhance their skills, the teachers received training from two educational consultants, Laurent Vande Putte and Fatoumata Binetou Fall. Our teachers, Bertin, Therese, Rebecca, Elvis, Marie Noel, Etienne, Sylvain, Maguy, Adrienne, Ildephonse, Eric, Jerome and Paul, worked on developing effective and fun lessons for the girls. They created hands-on activities that involve creativity and teamwork in order to foster an active learning style.
Laurent and Fatou shared with us their thoughts on their time in Kalebuka:
“I was extremely excited to be back in Kalebuka for the second edition of my work with the teachers. This year, the idea was to identify innovative, concrete and creative ways to put the theoretical knowledge from last year’s training into practice, in order to include fun and engaging approaches for the girls. We also focused on specific values we want to develop in our students to enhance their education, as well as to contribute to Malaika’s unique, visionary and well-respected learning environment. Throughout the sessions, we emphasized creativity, initiative, autonomy, identity, opinion, reflection, team work, imagination and many other skills that will make our girls active citizens in tomorrow’s world.”
Laurent Vande Putte
“Working with the teachers of the Malaika school in Lubumbashi last August was a most enlightening and fun experience. Already from week 1, I felt like everyone’s colleague, not a trainer or an outsider. There was a real sense of inclusion of everyone, from the girls in grade 2 and 3 who were taking math tests, to Maman Bernadette in the kitchen and to every teacher and staff member at the school. To date, having lunch with the Malaika teachers and staff while we sat on the classroom benches and discussed forced marriages in Congo remains my most cherished memory of visiting the DRC.
“I also learnt a great deal about the high level of coordination, funding and commitment it takes to run an organization like Malaika, especially one whose mission is to educate girls in a community that has yet to embrace the modern institution of school. In this sense, seeing first-hand the efforts of everyone in the field gave me more humility and challenged me to use my problem-solving skills and a critical, open-minded thinking to adapt my learning and teaching skills, and make them relevant to the realities of the girls at Kalebuka.
“Overall, after this first-hand familiarity with the work Malaika does in the DRC, I have no doubt as to the relevance of their mission and the ways they work with the local community to impact the lives of these girls and the local socioeconomic outcomes. Bravo and thank you for welcoming me in your community of changemakers!”
Fatoumata Binetou Fall