Empowering Me with Malaika

We are pleased to announce our newest education partnership with Malaika! Malaika is a grassroots nonprofit that empowers girls and their communities through education and health programs in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Founded in 2007 by Noella Coursaris Musunka - a Congolese/Cypriot model, humanitarian, and Ambassador for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria - Malaika operates in the Southeastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in a village called Kalebuka. Before Malaika, the underserved area had no access to electricity, clean water, or educational facilities.

Malaika’s vision is to bring transformation to the DRC by providing the tools and opportunities for the Congolese people to move forward on their own terms.

Malaika began by building a school for girls. Constructed in phases beginning in 2011, the Malaika School is a free, accredited primary and secondary school that provides a comprehensive and high quality education to more than 300 girls. The rigorous curriculum is structured around daily classes taught in French and English, on subjects including STEM, information technology, health, and civic education. Art, music, theater, and physical education are also a key part of the robust educational programming.

The students are given many opportunities to grow as leaders, from involvement in the Girl Scouts to field trips and community service projects, such as planting trees or teaching the community about malaria prevention. Additionally, each student receives two healthy meals a day - often the only ones she may receive - and is given regular health check ups. The Malaika School is also a sustainable complex, 100 percent powered by solar energy.

Beyond the school, Malaika is impacting the surrounding village through its Community Center, built in partnership with FIFA, which provides education, health, and sports programming to approximately 7,000 youths and adults per year. In addition, the organization has built and refurbished 17 wells that together supply fresh water to 30,000 people a year, greatly reducing water-borne disease and illness.

Through this comprehensive approach, Malaika is demonstrating a community-driven model that can be replicated in other locations. By investing in the ripple effect created by better access to education and health, Malaika is transforming lives and creating new opportunity for the children and adults it reaches.

Malaika has been featured in a variety of media, including in Forbes, Vogue, and Vanity Fair and on the BBC and CNN.

Afro is committed to promoting and investing in schools and organizations who are doing the groundwork across africa to advance girls education. Malaika has and continues to be a pioneer in fostering change agents of the future. Find out more about Malaika and ways that you can support their organization by visiting Malaika.org