Every morning, Monday through Friday, I wake up, get the kids ready and into their uniforms, fix their lunches and commute for an hour across town to their prep-school. It is an amazing school–their teachers have advanced degrees, they are learning a second language and they are in an amazing, nurturing environment. That is part of my American story.
In rural Mozambique, however, completion of high school is rare. Because of all of the fees associated with keeping a child in school (uniforms, transportation, books, etc.) the majority of parents are unable to keep their girls in school; many girls drop out and are left with one option: to marry.
I think of my own daughter while writing this out. As a mother, I have made sacrifices to put my kids in prep-school. Private school is expensive but even if I couldn’t afford it, public school would be a viable option. If I didn’t want to go that route, I could home school. The point is, education is always on the table for us as Americans. A lot of the world is not so lucky and it breaks my heart. Could you imagine being a mother of a child that is bright-eyed and curious and ready to learn and, instead, having to marry them off because you can’t provide them with what they need? It hurts me to even type it out, knowing that this is happening in the world.
Luckily, there are things we can do to help. I have had the pleasure of meeting Elisabetta Colabianchi, founder of Kurandza– an organization that supports the Mozambique community through education, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development programs. With the help of Percina Miocha, Kurandza’s Country Director, a local and close friend, they have launched an inspirational program #IStandForGirls which has set a goal to send 100 girls to school through scholarship.
$20/month or $240/year provides a scholarship for one child in Mozambique. 100% of your donation goes to these girls and it covers everything — transportation, school fees, uniforms, books, school supplies and extracurricular activity. If you can’t provide a full scholarship, you can donate any amount towards this amazing cause here at the bottom of the page.
I was so moved by Elisabetta’s story. She explained that she met Percina 6 years ago during her travel in the Peace Corp…After a natural disaster, Elisabetta moved in with Percina and became her family. So much so that Percina asked Elisabetta to be her daughter’s namesake. She explained it beautifully here:
When Percina was pregnant, I was with her all the time and was the first to see Lindsey Brianna born. Percina had asked me to name her baby, which is a huge honor in their culture. When you are someone’s “Xara” or “namesake” in their culture, it means that you are the same person. Lindsey and I are the same person now in her culture. So Percina calls me “minha filha”/”my daughter” and Percina’s mom calls me her granddaughter. Lindsey and I also have so many of the same characteristics– we both are curious about life, are super friendly and love to smile, love learning languages, and our mannerisms are the same.
Percina wanted her daughter to have an American name so she also said that she wanted me to name her “Elisabetta”. But since Elisabetta is actually an Italian name (my dad was born in Italy), I decided to name her “Lindsey Brianna”– American name that would be pronounced well in Portuguese as well.
As you know, I love to highlight moms and all that they do and this is something so beautifully special. In a way, I see Elisabetta as a mother figure to all these young girls. What other group of people love and nurture and go to bat for children in this way?
I hope you will take some time to check out Kurandza’s website and, if you are moved to, donate. The #IStandForGirls Campaign has not yet reached their goal of financing 100 young girls for school.
*This is not a sponsored post– I offered to post, free of charge, because I believe in this project. All thoughts are my own. All photos belong to Elisabetta Colabianchi of Kurandza.
There is something so calming about being out of good signal and in to country living.
I am a city girl through and through and if it’s not a city, it’s a caribbean beach-side that I am most comfortable in. My husband, on the other hand, is a country boy. When we first started dating, he was working as a manager on his family’s ranch.
While we planned on living in East Texas for a little while, we changed our minds last minute (like–after preparing a nursery in our home while I was 7 month’s pregnant, “last minute”) and ended up in Houston.
While we are city-living, it’s always a good change of pace to go to the ranch and just enjoy the vast landscape. For me, it’s needed. The air is cleaner, the environment is calmer, there is no rush to get anywhere or do anything except wander around….and we love to wander.
We found this feral black cat that had made a home on the ranch. Good for catching rodents so everyone lets him (or her?) be.
There is also an empty horse barn…It’s only empty because the horses are roaming but it makes for a good running space.
The goal is to make it to the ranch as much as possible. We have a small house and, with it being such a short drive, there is really no reason to not take advantage of the wide, open spaces and hit the road.
Maybe we will get into picking eggs (if I can get over my fear of birds) and horse back riding. The possibilities are endless and now that I have become a stay at home mom and my schedule has freed up, I definitely plan to take advantage. After all, that was the entire point of taking on this lifestyle.
Until next time,