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KURANDZA | "TO LOVE"

Kurandza is a non-profit social enterprise that invests in the future of women and girls in Mozambique. Through education, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development programs, women learn to become leaders in their villages, sharing their skills and knowledge with the rest of their community, and creating an opportunity for thousands of people.

What makes us different from other organizations? We listen to the needs of the people on the ground in Mozambique. Local needs drive the projects we create and fund, which ensures that our projects generate the most impact possible.

Kurandza means "to love" in Changana, the local language of the people we work with in Mozambique.

 

HEALTH

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

GENDER EQUALITY

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ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY

 
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While living in Guijá, a small village in southern Mozambique, Elisabetta Colabianchi volunteered with the Peace Corps at a local hospital. Her main role was to counsel HIV-positive women on the prevention of HIV transmission to their children. During her work, she realized that many patients would abandon treatment because they could not pay for transportation to the hospital to pick-up their medicine each month. Elisabetta and her good friend, Percina Miocha, started an income generation project for these HIV-positive women, with the goal of teaching them a skill that would earn enough income to pay for the monthly transportation costs to the hospital.

Even after Elisabetta returned to the United States, she knew that her work in Mozambique wasn't done. She developed strong ties with her village and decided to create Kurandza alongside Percina, to continue supporting the community through education, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development programs. 

 
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ELISABETTA, FOUNDER + EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Elisabetta Colabianchi was born in San Francisco, California and is a graduate of the University of San Diego where she studied foreign languages, biology, and peace & justice studies. After graduating from college, she moved to New York City to work with a non-profit organization helping low-income clients apply for public benefits and learn about financial management. While in New York, she studied global affairs at New York University and participated in a study abroad trip to the United Nations in Geneva. This experience inspired her to apply for the Peace Corps. Shortly after, she moved to Mozambique and began working as a Peace Corps Volunteer at a rural hospital. When Elisabetta returned to the United States in the fall of 2014, she created a non-profit social enterprise, Kurandza, to continue supporting the village where she lived and worked for three years. She now splits her time between California and Mozambique.

 

PERCINA, CO-FOUNDER + COUNTRY DIRECTOR

Percina Miocha was born in Mozambique's capital, Maputo, where she grew up with her family. Her family had moved to Maputo from Guija District during the civil war. When Percina was in elementary school, she moved back to Guija with her family to live in a rural village without electricity or running water. Percina always loved learning and despite the 10-mile walk to school, she was the first girl in her village to graduate from high school. Percina has always been very active in her community, holding roles as President of the youth health club, member of the Mozambican youth group, and has worked for several NGOs. Her dream is to become a Doctor or an Accountant one day. She has one child, Lindsey Brianna, who is three and a half years old. She is the Country Director of Kurandza in Mozambique and is responsible for managing all of our programs on the ground. Percina has visited the US twice!

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