MOTIVATION | HOLLY RILINGER

The mission of the Malaika Foundation is to empower Congolese girls and their communities through education. The non-profit, based in New York, operates in Kalebuka, in the Southeastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

An educated girl will increase her future earnings by approximately 10-20% for each additional year of schooling and she will reinvest most of it back into her family and community. The goal is to build the leadership capacity of each individual student so that she gives back to her community and has a positive, long-term impact on the future of the DRC. The idea is that we are fueling a generation of change-agents.

Four years ago I created and implemented a PE Program for these girls. It was a life changing experience. I witnessed the power of education combined with physical movement. These girls were empowered and inspired by the movement their bodies were doing and we were able to communicate through movement alone. 

Giving these young girls an opportunity to not only become leaders, but through this school have access to water, food and clothing is an exciting and humbling mission for me.