This project will fund the education of 29 girls in the village of Kalebuka, in Southeastern DRC. They will be the new Kindergarten class at the Malaika School, which provides a quality education completely free of charge to 202 girls.
7 million children are not attending school in the DRC. It has been torn apart by decades of civil conflict and extreme poverty, leading families to unequally prioritize the education of their children. If they can afford it, they send the boys to school while the girls stay home to help with domestic tasks. There is a 51% literacy rate for young women, which leaves many of them disenfranchised, disempowered and susceptible to abuse. The village of Kalebuka in particular has no school nearby.
The Malaika School opened in Kalebuka in 2011 to an inaugural class of 104 students. The school is being built in phases, with more classrooms and students being added as funding is secured. Enrolment currently stands at 202 girls and will increase to 231 in the fall. Malaika provides a comprehensive program completely free to the girls which includes all school supplies, uniforms, two healthy meals per day, art, theatre and English classes, and sports activities twice a week.
Providing girls with an education helps break the cycle of poverty. Educated women are less likely to marry early or to die in childbirth and they are less vulnerable to diseases like HIV. They also increase their income by 25% and reinvest 90% of it into their families and communities. Our goal is to build the leadership capacity of each student so that she gives back to her community and has a positive, long-term impact on the future of the DRC. We are creating a generation of change-agents.