To celebrate the launch of WNU’s Fine Poplin collection, Founder & CEO Pip Durell collaborated with renowned fashion stylist and photographer Cathy Kasterine to shoot a portrait series of women who inspire the brand, shot and interviewed in their WNU.

Noëlla Coursaris career started as a model, which took her all over the world shooting campaigns for top fashion publications. As she travelled Coursaris found herself more and more wanting to give back and share her passion for human rights, which led to her founding Malaika in 2007; a non profit grassroots organisation that empowers Congolese girls and their communities through education and health programs. 
The Interview:

Hi, I'm Coursaris Musunka, I’m the founder and CEO of Malaika, a grassroots organisation that I set up in 2007 that empowers girls and communities through education, health, sports and vocational training in the Congo.

Why did you start your business?

I wanted to give a chance to the next generation to be leaders in their own field through education, through skills and really emphasise their talent through education and I’m really happy because we got our first graduates at our school, Malaika school, after 12 years. (The students arrive at 5 years old until 18 and we got the first ones graduated). It's really to unlock the potential of girls and being educated.

How do you wear your WNU?

I love my white shirt with jeans definitely, I love it with black trousers, I love with skirts, I love with shorts, I love with high heels, I love with my boots and I love it with my uggs!

What do you wish you'd known before you started?

How much work is it, how much resilience you need, how witty you need to be and how much emotion goes into how to run an organisation.

Is there one woman in particular who has impacted your career?

My Mum, definitely. I love her and she's my inspiration, she’s the person. I laugh with, I cry with and the person that I love the food with, too!

What is your New Year resolution?

To say “no” to more things. 

What would you have said to your younger self?

Believe in yourself, put a lot of passion in, be determined, and don't be afraid of falling down because you can always go up and you learn so many things on the way up on your journey. Just keep it going, keep it going. And always hear this voice inside yourself and surround yourself with incredible people that are positive and that will be there at every moment of your career and of your journey.

What are your goals for 2024?

I wish we could be able to do more wells for the communities, because its a huge need in the area where we are working. So far, we have built 31 wells, a mix of manual wells and solar panel wells, which have impacted thousands… more than 45 thousand people a year! So I wish we could do more wells this year coming up and serve more of the community and be there for their needs; not seeing mothers, fathers or youths walking hours to fetch water or get water from dirty rivers. This is one of my goals because when I see the impact of the wells in the community and see 100 of people coming every day to fetch water, it's just like you feel ok you are helping and that's great.  

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