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Replicating Community-Driven Success

Megan Faunce, Operations Director, Malaika
Noëlla Coursaris Musunka, Founder & CEO, Malaika; Concordia Advisor

Access to education, water, and healthcare has empowered an entire community in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Noëlla Coursaris Musunka, Founder & CEO of Malaika, explained how in the 15 years since Malaika’s founding, Malaika has transformed a dream into a thriving community. The grassroots nonprofit organization has built a school that provides a free, accredited primary and secondary education to 430 girls, ranging from STEM and coding to art, music, theater, and sport. It has built a community center that offers health, literacy, and sports programs for 6,000 youth and adults in the wider community each year, as well as a technical program with Caterpillar Foundation. And, it has built and refurbished 28 wells that provide over 35,000 people each year with clean water. These programs are provided to the village of Kalebuka at no cost. 

With a strong foundation in place, and with measurable impact, Malaika is taking its lessons learned and applying them on the global stage in order to replicate their community-driven model in other areas of great need, empowered by action and shared goals. Megan Faunce, Operations Director of Malaika, unveiled the Malaika Model Toolkit. This interactive guide, featuring tailored, hands-on support, shares Malaika’s approach to education and community development. Comprising a how-to guide, a detailed manual, and first-hand insight from the Malaika team, the toolkit provides the technical components of Malaika’s model with the flexibility that allows organizations to adapt the model to their unique local contexts. From ongoing office hours, video support, and comprehensive exercises, it covers leadership, vision & mission statement, board policies, budgets, fundraising, data, and more. 

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • Africa has the youngest population across the world so it is important to invest and uplift the next generation.
  • Communities themselves are best positioned to solve their own problems; they simply need resources, support, and assistance.
  • Access the Malaika Model Toolkit to learn how to leverage best practices from Malaika’s community-driven model in your own work.

“Malaika was founded with a dream to bring education to girls in a rural community of the Congo.”


Megan Faunce, Operations Director, Malaika

“With a median age of 25 years old, the African continent is the youngest in the world and one that has such incredible potential.”


Noëlla Coursaris Musunka, Founder & CEO, Malaika; Concordia Advisor