It is not by chance that my painting in support of Malaika is being released in March, coinciding with Women’s History month. Noella Coursaris Musunka founded the Malaika school in 2007 at a time when education was not free in the Democratic Republic of Congo. If families' could only afford to send one or few children to school, the boys were prioritized. While the boys received education, the girls were left to work, marry and have children, and do household chores such as gathering water - remaining uneducated and therefore prone to disadvantaged situations.
Since the start of the Malaika school fifteen years ago, over 400 girls have been empowered through education and health programs. The first round of students are graduating this May, with many going to attend technical school and university and others being placed in internships with local companies. Education provides opportunity and independence and Malaika is paving the way for the next generation of (female) leaders in the DRC.
My painting, 'Wings to Lead', will be released for sale on my website on March 30th with 30% of proceeds being donated to Malaika. Click here to sign up to receive updates on the release.
Above: Founder of Malaika, Noella Coursaris Musunka, and three Malaika secondary students
Above: Malaika primary students
Above: Artist, Sterling Crawford, working on 'Wings to lead'