Mpala Mission is a vast complex something like a quarter mile long, with the residence of Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa at the northern end. The Sisters arrived in 1898 and left Mpala in the 1950s. Over their years of service, they founded and ran important facilities including an orphanage, a medical clinic, and a primary school that, interestingly enough, focused on girls’ education. Malela’s photos show that some buildings of the mission now lie in ruins, but that the old classrooms remain solid enough to house a school (with teachers paid to some extent by the DRC government it seems). As the photos suggest, the Sisters’ classrooms (seen here in the early 1930s) are not in great shape though, and in particular, need new roofing.
Malela will obtain what’s needed and then Krista herself will travel to Mpala for a week (it also takes 5 days to get there and five days to return to LA!) to help Malela, Sultani Mpala (the local chief within the Congolese local government), and the Congolese Abbé of Mpala Mission get construction underway to replace the roofs of six classrooms.