By Diane Small
Move over, Angelina – there’s a new celeb philanthropist in town! Musician and actress Eve Jeffers-Cooper (a.k.a Eve) has been announced as a Goodwill Ambassador for Malaika, a non-profit that provides education and health programmes in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
After visiting the Central African country with the founder of Malaika, model Noella Coursaris Musunka, hip hop star Eve fell in love with the country and its people and arrived in the African nation to inaugurate the very first e-library in the village of Kalebuka on International Women’s Day,
The e-library is the newest addition to the Malaika School, a free, accredited school that provides a comprehensive and high quality education to 230 girls. A grassroots organisation, Malaika aims to empower Congolese girls through education and health programmes. The sustainable school is 100%powered by solar energy and greatly impacts the surrounding Kalebuka village through its Community Centre, built in partnership with FIFA, which offers education, health and sports programmes to 7,000 people per year. Malaika also provides essential infrastructure development by building 5 wells that supply fresh water to 10,000 people, greatly reducing disease and illness.
The school now has both print and e-books on Android tablets, giving the girls greater access to the outside world and improving their job skills, too.
The Grammy Award-winning musician and actress, who is currently starring in box office hit Barbershop 3, said, “My trip to the DRC to visit Malaika’s projects exceeded my expectations. I knew it would be a great environment for the girls, but Malaika goes above and beyond. You can feel the excitement from the girls when they take their seats in class. The library will be an incredible addition to the Malaika School and to their curriculum.”
Eve put her creative skills to work with the young students in Kalebuka, writing a poem with them about the power of education. She also performed her hit single ‘Who’s That Girl’ for the excited villagers and students.
She has been a busy woman: she’s just participated in the 18th annual Gumball 3000 rally, and for her work as a fashion designer, she was the recipient of a Breakthrough Style Award from Vogue. This summer, she will reunite with Gwen Stefani for all dates on the “This Is What the Truth Feels Like” tour and is also releasing her own new music later in the year.
Malaika’s founder Noella Coursaris Musunka couldn’t be happier with Eve’s participation in the project: “It is wonderful to have the support of an amazing, successful woman who is also a great role model for our girls. I look forward to our continued work with Eve and know that together we can raise more awareness of our mission”.