Georges Malaika Foundation Announces Partnerships with FIFA and with One World Futbol Project

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The Georges Malaika Foundation (http://www.gmfafrica.org) is excited to announce FIFA as the latest partner in the GMF network. The Football for Hope program (http://www.fifa.com/aboutfifa/socialresponsibility/footballforhope/index.html) is a result of FIFA’s "20 Centres for 2010” campaign, an initiative coordinated with FIFA’s implementing partner streetfootballworld (http://www.streetfootballworld.org).

The Kalebuka Football for Hope Centre is a youth oriented project that will be based on improving public health, education, and life skills for the entire community. The Georges Malaika Foundation will run an integrated co-ed sports program to encourage social development and community participation, as well as distributing 5,500 nearly indestructible One World Futbols in partnership with One World Futbol Project
(http://www.oneworldfutbol.com).

“For many years, FIFA has made it part of its mission to develop initiatives that act as a catalyst for change in our society. With the creation of Football for Hope in 2005, FIFA not only acknowledged the role that football can play in social development worldwide, but also committed itself to make use of our game, our expertise and our resources to tackle social challenges across the globe. Since then, Football for Hope has been emphasizing the power of football far beyond the boundaries of the football pitch,” said Zelkifli R Ngoufonja, Head of the FIFA Development Office for Central Eastern Africa, of the project.

“With the opening of the Football for Hope Centre here in Kalebuka, we have taken yet another step towards fulfilling that promise across the African continent: a promise to put football to work for the benefit of education and health. I would like to confirm our commitment for this long lasting project and wish the Georges Malaika Foundation and all partners involved in this Football for Hope Centre every possible success for the future,” Ngoufonja added.

“At GMF, we are working towards solving the education crisis in the DRC by empowering girls, women, and the local community. The GMF project goes beyond a solely academic curriculum; by partnering with FIFA to launch the Kalebuka Football for Hope Centre, we work to empower the entire area through health, sports, education, and community activities,” said Noella Coursaris Musunka, founder and CEO of the Georges Malaika Foundation.

GMF is also working with One World Futbol Project to deliver 5,500 Chevrolet-sponsored One World Futbols to organizations working with youth in the DRC. One World Futbol Project makes, sells and distributes the One World Futbol, a nearly indestructible ball that never needs a pump and never goes flat even when punctured - making it ideal for play in all types of terrain and harsh environments. The company’s mission is to make a meaningful impact by bringing the joy of soccer and play to youth around the world through the One World Futbol. Chevrolet is the founding sponsor of One World Futbol Project, pledging to donate and support distribution of at least 1.5 million Chevrolet-branded One World Futbols worldwide over three years.

The Georges Malaika Foundation built and operates the Georges Malaika School for Girls, a tuition-free accredited school educating 152 girls in the village of Kalebuka, in southeastern DRC. GMF provides a fully comprehensive program for the girls that includes not only tuition, but also two meals each day, uniforms, school supplies, English, art and theatre classes, essential vaccinations, and sports activities twice a week.

In September the school will inaugurate six new classrooms sponsored by the Buchan Family Foundation and will thus be able to increase enrolment to 180 girls. In addition to this will be the launch of a brand new sports field for tennis, basketball and handball, sponsored by Vodacom.

GMF has a long history of partnerships with the local community and with other organizations in the DRC. In collaboration with the Voss Foundation and the Vinmart Foundation, GMF has built three fresh-water wells in Kalebuka that are having a positive impact on the lives of 8,000 people a year. Together with Project Cure, GMF shipped 12 containers of medical supplies worth more than $6 million to the region’s hospitals.

The Kalebuka Football for Hope Centre is set to launch on 24 August.

END

Notes to Editors

About the Georges Malaika Foundation
Founded in 2007 by Noella Coursaris Musunka, the mission of the Georges Malaika Foundation is to “empower through education”. Named in memory of Noella’s father Georges, and the Swahili word “malaika” for “angel”, GMF aims to mobilize resources so that girls can receive the best education possible, providing them with greater choices, opportunities, and the capacity to make informed decisions.

GMF has been featured multiple times on CNN and the BBC and Noella has participated in many international panels. Noella has had the opportunity to work with UNICEF, to give a speech at the United Nations on International Women’s Day, to speak at Cambridge University and to defend the rights of women at the Kinshasa Parliament.

Noella is an active participant in the Clinton Global Initiative’s Congo Action Network and GMF participated in CGI’s Annual Meeting 2012. Noella addressed President Bill Clinton during the Opening Plenary with a statement of GMF’s commitment to action. She also hosted the Cinema for Peace New York 2012 gala, which saw Sting and his wife awarded for their work with the rainforest, and Cinema for Peace Los Angeles 2013, where Ben Affleck was presented with an award for his work for the benefit of the DRC. GMF has also received honours from Russell Simmons at the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s GOOD Awards this year.

GMF works actively with the local community and other organizations on the ground in the DRC. With the exception of the locally hired teachers and support staff, GMF is wholly operated by unpaid experts and volunteers offering a wide range of skills.

Here is a video introducing GMF’s work in the DRC:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6jpmDqzvDc

Here is a video from the Clinton Global Initiative that includes GMF’s work:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Khk1cWgAdj0

CNN’s African Voices interviewed Noella Coursaris about her work with GMF:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Msw2N3iSpZc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3n0ig_Eg_o

Here are two videos from FOX 5’s Good Day NY and NY1 News regarding ‘The Rise of Congo’ event GMF held in March 2013:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAcXIUNOS54&feature=youtu.be

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGiLAFHy3Tw&feature=youtu.be

Media Contact: Eileen Walmsley eileen(at)gmfafrica(dot)org

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