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Why was Malaika founded?
Over 50% of girls between the ages of 5 and 17 do not attend school in the DRC. Schooling is not free and when families can afford to send a child to school, they will often choose to send their sons. Girls are then left out of the education system and therefore, the formal economy. However, an educated woman will be healthier, have healthier children, earn up to 20% more for each year of schooling and will invest about 90% of her income into her home and community.
Therefore, educating women positively impacts the entire community.
Malaika recognized this and opened a school for girls in a village where there was only one poorly run school and no other services. Today, through our school and community center we are educating the girls and women of Kalebuka, as well as the boys and men while also changing minds and progressing gender equality.
Why are you located in Kalebuka, DRC?
Kalebuka is a village with no running water, no electricity, and at the time had only one, poorly run school.
Our founder, Noella, is from Lubumbashi, the closest city to Kalebuka. When the team was looking for a location for our school, they knew they wanted something close to Lubumbashi. The team then visited several villages, met with community members and discussed their needs and their interest in working with Malaika. The people of Kalebuka were eager to partner with Malaika and we felt this village was the place where we could have the biggest impact.
Why is technology important in your programs?
Technology is a large part of the world today. It is important that our students and participants have access to the skills and knowledge which will allow them to become successful and become the future leaders of their communities. We feel 21st century skills are critical to that success. Therefore, we incorporate STEM into all of our classes at the Malaika school and offer IT classes at the Community Center.