The first library in Kalebuka, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been opened by Malaika, a non-profit organization, giving people access to both e-books and print books in the English and French languages.

Part of the Malaika School, the library is the only library within a hundred mile radius. The state of the art facility has received donations of Android tablets and an interactive whiteboard, which will open up a world of learning opportunities for the students.

Malaika Founder, Noella Coursaris Musunka, who officially opened the library on Friday 11th March 2016 started the non-profit organisation in 2007. Malaika is a grassroots organisation with a mission to empower Congolese girls and their communities through education and health programmes.

First Library Opens in Kalebuka, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Noella Coursaris Musunka reading with some of the school students

Built in 2011, the Malaika School is a free, accredited school that provides a comprehensive and high quality education to 230 girls. The goal is to cultivate the leadership potential of each student so that she is empowered to give back to her community and has a positive, long-term impact on the future of the DRC. The curriculum is structured around daily classes in French and English, on subjects including math, science, information technology, health and civic education. Art, music, theatre and physical education classes are also a key part of the robust educational programming. Additionally, each girl receives two healthy meals a day – often her only ones.

First Library Opens in Kalebuka, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Noella Coursaris Musunka with some of the school students

At the same time, Malaika impacts the surrounding Kalebuka village through its Community Centre, which provides education, health and sports programming to approximately 7,000 youths and adults per year. Malaika also provides essential infrastructure development by building 5 wells that supply fresh water to 10,000 people, greatly reducing disease and illness.

Noella believes strongly in the power of education to transform the youth of the DRC. “I am so excited to launch this project”, Noella said, “it is amazing to know that the students will now have a warm and welcoming environment where they will feel comfortable and eager to learn”.

The new library in Kalebuka will enhance Malaika’s mission of building the leadership capacity of each student so that they have a brighter future. Click here to find out more about Malaika.

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Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.