To create and maintain educational facilities of a high standard in the developing world, the GMF school will provide a holistic positive approach to education. This will include the following: two meals at school; clean uniforms; shoes; school supplies; clean drinking water; sanitary latrines; a safe campus with a small ecological footprint; internet access; and highly trained teachers.
In the first year of the school, 104 girls enrolled and a model for empowering girls through education was created. GMF believes that this model will revolutionize the way education is provided to the most underserved communities, particularly girls in Africa. GMF commits to leverage this model and expand it to increase its impact in the community by offering tuition-free, high-quality education to more students. GMF commits to support those enrolled through high school and provide them with the opportunity to pursue higher education.
This commitment will involve a strategic expansion of school capacity over the coming years. New classrooms will be built and will therefore lead to an increase in total capacity and the number of the enrolled students. Moreover, the campus will be expanded to ensure that access to high quality education becomes a right and not a privilege.
In September 2012, the school will enroll forty-six new students and add two additional classes of young girls, which will bring total enrollment to 150 students. To meet the growing number of students, three new teachers will be hired and two additional classrooms and a canteen will be built. The new classrooms will also host after-school vocational training sessions for parents.
By 2015, the campus will add five more classrooms and will introduce a library and a computer technology/media center. Each year, the size of the student population will incrementally grow in order to reach 340 young girls by 2015.
The literacy rate among women in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) stands at 57 percent (CIA Factbook, 2010). This presents a serious obstacle to the empowerment of women and will make it extraordinarily difficult for the DRC to build its economy. To combat this challenge, providing girls and women access to education must be made a priority. Education not only has a ripple effect within the family and across generations, but it opens doors to employment in a variety of industries and significantly increases the likelihood that women marry later and have smaller and healthier families.
Education, however, cannot be provided in isolation. It must take into account the local environment factors and determine how those will affect success. The Georges Malaika Foundation (GMF) believes that it is necessary to create and maintain educational facilities of a high standard in the developing world. To facilitate the effective implementation of such schooling, GMF supports the creation of strong community-centered partnerships with local organizations and is building a business model that is self-sustainable over time. Most of all, the GMF believes that tuition should be free, so that quality education becomes a right for girls and enables them to live to their fullest potential and be leaders of their generation.
Malaika's programs rely upon the dedication and hard work of 31 Congolese staff members working on the ground in the DRC, and around-the-clock support from a team of 30 volunteers working in the US, Europe, the DRC, and beyond. Malaika has only one paid international staff member, in New York. This has allowed for 91% of funds donated to Malaika to go directly to community programs, with only 9% going to administrative overhead.
Thus, Malaika is always searching for new partners who are willing to share their expertise or can spread the word about our programs.