Growing up in Europe, Noella longed to visit her motherland, as time passed, she blossomed into a beautiful teen and began her modelling career.
When she was 18, she went back to the DRC to visit her mother, at that point she knew she had to do something to impact her world, specifically for the young girls and women in Congo.
Noella strongly believes in the power of education, in her CNN interview, she shared that “I believe that if my mother had an education at the time my father died, she would have been able to support me and keep me.“
On the subject of underage pregnancy which is a major issue in the DRC, “At a young age they got pregnant, got married, so how do you resolve the problem of a girl being pregnant at 12 years, if she’s at school, if she cuts her education?…If we give her power to have education I believe she won’t be a mother at a young age.” Noella says.
Noella founded the Georges Malaika Foundation (named after her father);
The Georges Malaika Foundation is dedicated to the advancement of African communities by providing educational opportunities to young girls, aged 5 to 18. Its vision is to mobilize the resources necessary to overcome the insurmountable obstacles a young girl faces to obtain an education in the Democratic Republic of Congo. GMF will provide assistance that paves the way for opportunity, generates greater choice and empowers girls to make informed decisions. GMF endeavors to permanently alter the cycle of illiteracy and poverty within the D.R. Congo.
The foundation’s current focus is the construction of an ecological school for 100 children in the Katanga province in the south of the DRC. This the area where Coursaris was born and spent her early childhood. Most of the young girls who will be enroll in the school when it is completed have been abandoned, sexually abused or accused of witchcraft.
Noella is totally committed to the cause and is optimistic that her young son, Mapendo gets to experience the DRC is a completely new light. According to her, “When he is my age I want him to see a new Congo, with a strong leadership, with a lot of schools all over Congo.” We pray so too!
Check out Noella’s CNN African Voices feature and CNN Connector of the Day interview.
Video & Information source: CNN International
Find out more about the Georges Malaika Foundation: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Georges-Malaika-Foundation/304396695272
CNN African Voices
CNN Connect the World