March General Meeting

Friday 01 March

Join us on Thursday, March 28, 2019 Thursday, 9.30am at the Royal Geographical Society with Guest Speaker NOËLLA COURSARIS

Noëlla Coursaris Musunka was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to a Cypriot father and a Congolese mother. When she was five, her father passed away suddenly. Her mother was unable to provide for her as a single parent, so she sent Noëlla to live with relatives in Europe and to receive a higher quality education.

A career as an international model then followed, which took Noëlla to the global fashion stage. Having travelled home to the DRC as a young adult, she had witnessed first-hand the poverty and lack of opportunity for women in the country. Noëlla had promised herself that she would one day make a difference, and her fashion career became the path to a new experience as a humanitarian leader. 

In 2007, Noëlla founded Malaika, a nonprofit grassroots organization that empowers Congolese girls and their communities through education and health programs. Over the past decade, working with the Kalebuka community in southeastern DRC, Malaika has built a free school to bring education and healthcare to more than 300 girls. Since many of the girls struggle with malnutrition, the school also gives each girl two nutritious meals per day and regular health check-ups.

Over the years, Malaika has grown to impact the surrounding community through its community center, which now offers vocational, health, and sports programs to more than 7,000 youth and adults, and through its system of 17 new and refurbished wells, which supply clean water to more than 30,000 people annually. Malaika’s integrative model of education and health can be adopted and replicated in communities around the world. 

Noëlla's efforts have made her one of the most sought-after speakers on the subject of girls’ education. She has spoken at the World Economic Forum in Davos, WISE Summit, Global Citizen Forum, at the UK Parliament, UNICEF and Cambridge University, and alongside Princess Caroline of Hannover at the AMADE plenary session and President Clinton on Clinton Global Initiative panels. She has been interviewed about her philanthropic work on CNN and BBC and has given a TED talk and presented in front of executives from multinationals.

Noëlla has also been named one of ELLE’S incredible women shaping Africa, one of Lifestyles’ most powerful women in philanthropy, and one of the BBC’s 100 most Influential and Inspirational women of 2017. Also in 2017, Noëlla was appointed  as an Ambassador for The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Most recently, Noella received an award from the House of Mandela at the 2018 Forever Young Ball in recognition of her work with Malaika over the past 11 years. 

Alongside being a mother to two young children, Noëlla continues to work as a model. Today more than ever, her passion is to model with meaning, using her profile to raise awareness for causes she believes in as a mother, a feminist and an advocate for the intrinsic human right to education, health and opportunity.

Based on their shared commitment to empowering women, Roksanda Ilinčić and Noella Coursaris Musunka teamed up, with the help of The Outnet, to release a 17-piece capsule collection where 10 percent of sales go directly to the school, Malaika. 

GENERAL MEETING SCHEDULE 

9:30 – 10:30am           Registration. Coffee and activity sign-ups

10.35                           Registration closes. Doors to the auditorium open

                                    Latecomers will not be allowed into the auditorium after doors close

10:45am – 12 noon     Club Announcements followed by Guest Speaker

12:30 – 2:30pm           Hospitality Luncheon (pre-registration needed)

Notes: There is a £10 entrance fee for non-members, which is redeemable toward your membership fee on the day.

For more information on the Hospitality Luncheon, click here