September always holds a special place in my heart. When I was younger, it would be the signal that school is just around the corner. Now, it is even more impactful as September 1 kicks off Kurandza’s #IStandForGirls campaign in hopes of sending 250 girls back to school in Mozambique. The ripple effects of investing in girls’ education can impact an entire nation.
If you are new around here, you might not have heard of Kurandza, the give-back organization I partnered with. Kurandza, which means “to love”, is a grassroots non-profit that invests in the future of women and girls in Mozambique through holistic education and sustainable development programs. When you choose to work with Studio Crescent, a small percentage of your project goes towards supporting girls’ education. Not only are you taking a step in building YOUR dream life, but also shaping the future of a young girl across the world.
With 2023’s #IStandForGirls campaign around the corner, I wanted to take a moment to share what a tremendous year of growth and impact 2021-2022 was for the girls in Mozambique. With the help of generous sponsors, give-back partners, and donors, not only were they able to sponsor 255 children back to school and improved their literacy program but also launched the following initiatives to expand their impact.
According to UNICEF, an estimated 237 million children under the age of 5 globally currently do not have a birth certificate.
This means there are literally zero records of their existence or proof of identity. This limited access to education, healthcare, or opportunities hinders them from being able to participate in society and instead, propels them yet into another cycle of poverty. This lack of documentation makes them more vulnerable to child labour, child marriage, and trafficking.
I am ashamed to admit that this has never crossed my mind so I was SO very grateful that Elisabetta and her team sent this update and made us aware of the harsh reality of the world. Little things that we often take granted because they came with our birthright.
This was by far one of the most life-changing initiatives Kurandza has implemented this year was to be able to pay for proper documentation for the girls in Mozambique, especially those living in rural areas. With the creation of their Intake Project (similar to a census), their team has been diligently surveying each family from house to house to identify who needs proper documentation.
“I am content because I and my cousins [now] have documents. Thank you so much, Kurandza.” – Dinamárcia
“I am very thankful to have registered for and received documents because it will help me a lot for the exams process and also for enrollment next year for the 8th Grade.” – Maria
“I am so grateful to the organization for helping us get our documents, especially because having correct documentation is one of the requirements to enroll for exams, for this reason, I’m very happy.” – Amélia
With the communities in Southern Mozambique predominantly Christian, this program is an incredible way to empower the girls to learn more about their faith and grow together in community. With each child receiving their own copy of the Bible, they will also have a chance to ask questions, learn scriptures, and develop their reading skills with the guidance of a facilitator.
Being someone that attended Sunday school and summer camps when I first moved to Canada in my elementary school years, I recalled the joy and connection I felt with the other children there with similar values and beliefs. To be able to connect, play, and learn from one another while exploring our identity and faith together was an eye-opening experience. I can only imagine how appreciative they are to have this opportunity as another way to bond together.
Learn more about the program here!
The ripple effect of impact lives within this Alumni & Internship Program. For the first time ever, Kurandza had their first Grade 12 GRADUATES return to participate in this year-long internship.
Education shouldn’t stop at the 12th grade. So, not only does this program give the graduates the opportunity to further their leadership and mentoring skills to younger girls in the educational program, but it also serves as a way for them to intern and earn a stipend to attend college. The stipend will then be matched and saved in a college fund to be given at the end of the year to be used towards their tuition.
Here’s what intern Tânia says about her experience leading the girls through the Alumni & Internship Program:
“Since I started leading sessions I see that the girls are learning a lot. These fears they had are starting to disappear, they prefer to take risks and talk, because they realized that talking is how they will learn.”
I adore this program because I know how inspiring it is, as a young girl, to have someone to look up to that is from a similar background. To show them that it IS possible to go after their dreams and be whoever they want – with a little bit of hard work and the support of a community.
Learn more about the program here!
Walking to school daily is often a risk for children as the nearest school is often 6-10 miles away, or even further. From predators to bad weather, the journey in itself is unsafe and therefore, not sustainable. All of this prevents children from attending school and extracurricular activities or allows them enough time for homework or tutors.
Can you imagine walking 6+ hours each day JUST to go to school? That’s as long as an actual school day.
The team at Kurandza understood the impact safe transportation can have on girls. This year, they have been able to hire a driver to transport the students from the program to school, giving a new sense of security to both parents and children.
This year, the Kurandza team is gearing up for their largest fundraising goal yet in one single month: Raising $125,000 by September 30 to holistically support all 250 girls for the 2023 school year.
For as little as $25/month, you can make an impact by sending one girl to school in Mozambique. The $25/month covers school supplies/uniform, transportation, and enrollment in the education program. For $50/month, it covers all of the above in addition to private mentorship for 1 girl.
Or if monthly recurrence isn’t your thing, there is an option to make a one-time donation of any amount to help the girls with tutoring and mentoring! 📚
Check out Kurandza’s 2021 Impact Report here!
Partnering with Kurandza has been one of the most rewarding as a business owner. To have the opportunity to play a small role in lifting up girls and women around the world through education is something I don’t take for granted and value so immensely.
Because when one of us shines, we all shine.
💰 For the month of September, I will be donating $150 per project booked towards Kurandza’s fundraising goal, in addition to my monthly contribution to sponsor a girl. If you are interested in elevating your brand and/or website for 2023, this is the time to reach out.
I hope you will join me in this movement in making a life-changing impact together.