The West Foundation’s Impact on Malembe Rise

Support from The West Foundation has given wings to innovative philanthropy in Democratic Republic of Congo. Partnering with The West Foundation allows Malembe Rise to further its impact by investing in teachers’ professional development and empowering students to lead and serve in their community.

(From contributing writer: Sarah Castor, U.S. County Director, Malembe Rise)

Malembe Rise believes that education is most impactful and meaningful when it is rooted in everyday experiences and challenges. For many students, school is rote learning and repetition. Our unique approach to education advances 21st century skills that focus on critical thinking and problem solving through practice- based, student-centered learning and community service.

Trust building activities are central to addressing the needs of the community. Currently, our team is meeting with administrators, teachers and parents to build trust, set goals together and create a unified vision of our work with teachers and students in the coming months. This is key to all future success. Malembe Rise sees trust building as critical to true collaboration and long term sustainability.

In 2022, Malembe Rise is expanding its impact by investing in teachers and students at Hebron, a new partner school. In the coming months, Malembe Rise will launch the Club of Leaders, a unique model for student leadership and service. The Club is governed by elected student leaders who work within the community to address a specific challenge. Students lead community service initiatives and share with their parents, neighbors and friends all that has been learned through songs, skits, and homilies at a fete, a large party that often includes 100-200 community members.

When students act upon what they are learning by leading service activities, they also transfer knowledge to their families and community. In a country where more than half the population is under 17, we believe the best way to bring positive change is to invest in young people (and the teachers who empower them) to be catalysts for positive change.

Photo courtesy: Malembe Rise