Growing up, I lived a pretty sheltered life. When we moved from Hong Kong to Canada, my parents sacrificed a lot in order to move my brother and I to a well-respected community so that we could grow up have access to the best public school education there was. For the longest time, I never thought of education as a luxury — but of course, that was the privilege and naivety speaking at that time. Although I was never a straight-A student, I loved getting involved with extracurriculars wherever possible. From student council to the prom committee, interact club to musical theatre, I filled my time with activities, experiences, and opportunities that shaped me into the person I am today.
You see, school is more than just reading and writing, exams and school subjects. Sure, all of that is important, but the soft skills we develop are just as crucial and often overlooked. Education is also about teamwork and collaboration, problem-solving and critical thinking, decision making, and public speaking. It’s where we begin the journey of discovering who we are and who we want to spend our time with. Our dreams and goals. What’s right VS what’s wrong.
When I stumbled across Kurandza, it felt like serendipity. I found Elisabetta Colabianchi through the power of the gram’ and fell in love with her passion, dedication, and commitment to empowering girls in Mozambique. She met her co-founder, Percina, during her time at the Peace Corps, and began her life’s journey and advocacy in girls’ education — through Kurandza! Kurandza, which means love, is a non-profit social enterprise that invests in the future of women and girls in Mozambique through holistic education and sustainable development programs.
What I admire about this grassroots organization is that they develop their programs through the needs and feedback of the local community. There is no bureaucratic red tape and Kurandza does an impeccable job at providing updates and reports on how the children are doing in school and within their local communities. You can seriously feel your impact making a difference. Over the past years, the Kurandza team has launched various campaigns to support the needs of the Mozambique village — such as the #feedmozambique campaign in support of nutrition and health care, and most recently the #IStandForGirls campaign that has taken social media by the storm every September.
Launched in 2017, the #IStandForGirls movement is an online campaign to send 205 children to go to school. Aside from tuition and transportation, these girls will also receive a uniform, school supplies, access to after-school tutoring and counselling, extracurricular activities, and more.
When I started my business, I knew I wanted to make an impact and give back. And after having participated in the campaign back in 2018, I knew I wanted to find a way in the future to be involved with Kurandza in any way that I can. I am grateful to have the opportunity again this year to be a part of this campaign, as well as a give-back partner. I believe all girls around the world should have equal access to education and opportunities no matter where they live and who they are. To me, all girls are born with an unwavering sense of strength, compassion, and curiosity — and the potential of a girl is unlocked when she is surrounded by the right people and is equipped with the power of education.
In Mozambique, a young girl’s education costs approximately $25/month — which is practically how much we spend on coffee each week! And while I am a big supporter of caffeine, I am hoping you will also consider joining me in changing a girl’s life forever by helping her get access to the education she needs to become a leader for her family, her community, and most importantly — herself.
Will you join us in building the next generation of girls?