First Day Of School For Our 200 Sponsored Girls!

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Last week, our girls at our partner schools in Mozambique had their first day of school. For many of the girls, it was their first day of school ever and they were so excited :) We want to share a quick recap of their first day of school so you can join in with the excitement and get to know the girls a little bit better!

This year, we have more than 200 children across our five partner schools - 153 girls in three different primary schools, close to 30 children (all of whom are orphans and unable to pay for tuition) at our private partner preschool, and 20 young girls at our partner secondary school. This is only our second year of this program and we are blown away by the number of girls we’re able to support!

During the first day of school, the girls receive their uniforms, backpacks, and school supplies, which is usually the most exciting part of the day! Then they get to meet the teachers and get to know their school!

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Percina told us a lot about the first day, but there are a few girls in particular who stood out to her:

Sharon da Sara (one of our new first graders) initially didn’t want to go to school on the first day— she didn’t even want to go see what the school looked like. But once she received her brand new uniform and school supplies, she changed her mind and decided to participate in the first day of school! Percina said that she was so happy that she couldn’t wait to get to school.

One of our new secondary school students, Novilência (bottom right below), dropped out of school last year because she didn’t have the funds to pay for transportation to get to school. She was even looking for work at a local snack shop to try and pay for school, but thanks to our support, she was able to return to school and is very happy. She’s starting eighth grade this year (did you know that 8th grade is the first year of secondary school in Mozambique?)!

Dasdores (top left below) is another one of our new secondary school students. She thought that schooling for her would end with primary school and that she wasn’t smart enough to pass onto secondary school. But because of Kurandza’s support, she passed onto eighth grade and is able to start secondary school this year, which is a big dream for her!

The photos above are of some of our secondary school students. These students (along with some of the pre-schoolers who live far from the school) also have their transportation paid for— we have a “bus” come pick them up and take them over 10 miles to school each day. This allows them to have more time to finish all of their household chores and still get to study because they aren’t spending all of their time walking to school. Another benefit of having coordinated transportation is the safety aspect. Lately there has been an increase in crimes on the road to school, and because of our Kurandza sponsors, our girls are safe and secure!

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Because of our sponsors’ support, we have more than doubled the number of preschoolers we have this year! Here are a few photos of some of the new children in our program.

Besides the academic knowledge that our girls are gaining through our program, these girls are building self-esteem, leadership abilities, and confidence. We aim to give our girls the knowledge that they have options in life and can dream for the future! With a basic grasp of education and life skills, our girls can grow into women that know their dreams can come true.

The first day of school was a huge win for us at Kurandza and it wouldn’t have happened without your support! We’ll be sharing updates throughout the year, so stay tuned. If you’re as inspired by the first day of school as we are, click here to learn about joining our cause and supporting our Holistic Education program, which teaches our girls skills they need to make their dreams come true.


Giveback Partner Spotlight: Amy Everhart

We’re so excited to introduce this month’s Giveback Partner Spotlight! Amy Everhart has supported Kurandza since mid-2018 through her amazing business, Amy Everhart Coaching. This entrepreneur owns a virtual studio that offers copywriting and content strategy services to fellow entrepreneurs. We are honored to have Amy on our team of partners!

Sit back and enjoy the interview! Be sure to check out Amy’s website and Instagram where she shares copywriting tips and her travel adventures.

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU STARTED AMY EVERHART COACHING? WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO START IT?

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I started my career as a teacher, and I had always loved helping people, but I wanted to focus on less on helping and more on empowering. I had the opportunity to lead a nonprofit program that empowered teachers, and I absolutely fell in love with the coaching aspects of the job. I founded Amy Everhart Coaching as a way to help creative, passionate women empower themselves in their careers and I found I had a knack for start up coaching. Now, I help women lay a strong foundation for their careers and businesses—both strategically and energetically—and I love getting to be the midwife as women birth their amazing creative projects and empowered selves.

YOU'RE A #GIRLBOSS! WHAT IS YOUR TOP TIP FOR SOMEONE WHO IS STUCK IN THEIR 9 TO 5 DAY JOB AND WANT TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?

Oh my goodness, SO many tips! First, understand that you CAN have a fulfilling work life and make enough money to pay your bills. The fear of financial failure is what keeps so many incredible creators from taking the leap, but the truth is that you really can have both. You just have to believe in it and be strategic about how you move forward. My biggest advice to take the long view and do the transition gradually. Give yourself plenty of runway for taking off, and don’t get discouraged if one launch or product fails or one client says no. If you keep going, growing, and learning, you’ll be successful. Just keep at it. Also, get a coach or a mentor who’s been there. Birthing a business is a lot work. Invest in the support you need.

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WHY IS WOMEN EMPOWERMENT IMPORTANT TO YOU AND HOW DO YOU UTILIZE THAT IN YOUR BUSINESS?

Women’s empowerment is important to me (especially in the career and business realm) because when half of the population is under engaged, we all lose. Women have incredible skills and perspectives that our world desperately needs, and we don’t claim our full power, we rob the world of our talents and influence. In my work, I teach women to empower themselves by building consciousness around their patterns, buttons, and mindset. I do an assessment with clients that’s like a Myers-Briggs, but for your mindset, and it helps you understand your mindset patterns so that you can make empowered choices that allow you to respond rather than react to situations. When you’re in charge of your own responses and attitudes, you’re truly empowered.

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PART OF BEING A KURANDZA GIVEBACK PARTNER? 

The way my clients tear up when I send them photos of the girls they’re helping. It never fails—they always cry and feel so connected to empowering not only themselves, but women across the globe.

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THERE ARE SO MANY INCREDIBLE ORGANIZATIONS OUT THERE! WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CHOOSE TO WORK WITH KURANDZA?

I know the founder personally, and I really respect her as a person. Her enthusiasm for the mission is infectious, and when I exploring the work Kurandza was doing, I fell in love with the actual impact Kurandza is having. I wanted to be a part of partnering with women across the globe in empowering themselves rather than just helping by writing a check. Kurandza provides opportunities to women to empower themselves, and women helping women is what I’m all about!

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP 3 GOALS FOR AMY EVERHART COACHING FOR 2019?

To launch my new course, Schedule Alchemy, in May. Schedule Alchemy is an online course for female creatives who want to blend the masculine and feminine in their work so they can achieve the perfect balance of structure and flow. I also want to partner with other local LA gals to host events and build my community.


CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT ANOTHER ONE OF KURANDZA’S AMAZING GIVEBACK PARTNERS, CASSANDRA LE OF THE QUIRKY PINEAPPLE STUDIO.

Are you interested in learning more about our Giveback Partner program? Click here!


Kurandza 2018 Impact Report + 2019 Goals

In a short time, Kurandza has come a long way. If you follow us on Instagram, you have heard a bit about our founder, Elisabetta, and our Country Director, Percina's stories. Just in case you missed it, we will sum it all up by saying that Kurandza hasn't come to fruition overnight. Years of hard work, dreaming, and collaboration has led us to where we are today. 

As 2019 opens its blank, fresh pages, we have big dreams that we can't wait to carry out. And first, before we can move forward, we think it's important to look back. 

This post is all about our Impact thus far. Since our very beginning as a women's sewing cooperative, until this year, when we will be sending 200 sweet girls to school. Looking back inspires us to keep pushing forward. Keep reading and you’ll also get a sneak peek into our goals for 2019!

BECAUSE OF YOU, WE'VE...

- FUNDED A pre-school dormitory:

Our partner pre-school in southern Mozambique was in dire need of a nap-time dormitory! The children were sleeping on the floor in the cafeteria during their nap-time, which wasn’t ideal for many reasons, including the smoke from the kitchen and sanitation purposes. So the Kurandza community joined together and raised funds to build a dormitory! The first phase of construction has been completed, and they are busy working on the rest so that the kids can start using the dormitory this school year!

- ACCOMPLISHED OUR FIRST SPONSORED SCHOOL YEAR FOR 100+ girls:

We’re happy to announce that all of the girls that participated in Kurandza’s first sponsored year of school through the 2017 #IStandForGirls campaign passed their studies and graduated to the next grade! We had no drop outs due to pregnancy or child marriages, and our girls have demonstrated higher academic abilities and improved behavior after participating in our program!

-RAISED FUNDS TO SEND MORE THAN 200 GIRLS TO SCHOOL THROUGH OUR second #ISTANDFORGIRLS CAMPAIGN: 

Most recently, and perhaps most impactful, our #IStandForGirls campaign in September 2018 doubled our goal from last year and raised funds to send over 200 girls to school! Their sponsorship includes tuition, uniforms, transportation, meals, after-school care, and school supplies. They start the next school year in February and are so excited!

Another HUGE win is that Kurandza’s 501(c)3 tax-exempt status became officialized! That means that all donations to Kurandza are tax-deductible! This also means that Kurandza is now a partner of AmazonSmile and Facebook! Be sure to choose Kurandza as your chosen cause when you purchase on Amazon. You also now have the opportunity to start a Facebook fundraiser for Kurandza for your birthday or any other day!

HERE are our 2018 impact highlights: 

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We are almost a month into 2019 and we think it's the perfect time to keep the momentum of a new year going by making our goals public. Whether you're new to Kurandza, a Giveback Partner, a donor or a sponsor for our #IStandForGirls campaign or anything in between, we hope you're inspired and encouraged by our goals. AND we would love to invite you to join us in making them a reality!

HERE ARE OUR TOP 5 GOALS FOR 2019:

1. Get our 200 sponsored girls through school

Thanks to the success of our second #IStandForGirls campaign, we are sending 200 girls to school this year! Half of the girls are continuing from last year, and the other half are starting with us this February when the school year in Mozambique starts! Their sponsorship includes school fees, uniforms, backpacks, transportation, after-school care, and school supplies. Our Holistic Education Program program provides girls with the opportunity to dream about a bright future. 

2. Bring Percina, our Country Director, to the US again

In 2016 and 2017, our co-founder Percina was able to travel to the U.S. to attend conferences with Elisabetta and meet some of our biggest supporters! She had plans to come to the US last year, but she had a baby instead! So this year, we are hoping to bring her back at least once, to participate in conferences, meet donors, sponsors, participate in events, and make new friends. Percina has overcome so much and traveling to the U.S. is not only incredibly exciting for her, but gives her the opportunity to share her story with others, speak at events, and add momentum to our campaign launches so we can make more of an impact for our girls!

3. increase OUR GIVEBACK PARTNER and monthly giving programs 

Our Giveback Partners are the backbone of our organization. Through their support, we're able to raise awareness and money for the work we do in Mozambique. We're planning to partner with even more women-leaders and entrepreneurs to create even more change this year!  This will allow us to continue bringing in steady funds that will help us complete our programmatic responsibilities in Mozambique, while partnering with like-minded individuals and businesses who want to give back and make a difference in the lives of women and girls.

Click here if you're interested in learning more about our Giveback Partner program!

4. Continue to build capacity at our partner pre-school

In 2018 our goal was to raise enough funds to improve the pre-school we partner with in Southern Mozambique. We raised the funds and started construction on the dormitory and painted the classrooms. This year, we want to continue helping with the classrooms and facilities restoration including building new bathrooms and making the pre-school an overall better environment for our pre-schoolers to learn and grow.

5. Have another successful #IStandForGirls Campaign in September 2019

As many of you know (because you were a part of it!) in 2018, we raised funds to give school scholarships to more than 200 girls. Through your support, these girls received not only school fees, but everything they need to thrive during and after school as well! The girls will begin school in February, and soon, you'll get to see your donations in action. For 2019, we plan to continue to secure scholarships for our girls and focus on giving them more educational opportunities!

If you'd like to join the launch team for this year's #IStandForGirls campaign, click here!


WE'RE DREAMING ABOUT AN EVEN BIGGER AND MORE IMPACTFUL 2019, and we can't wait to partner with you to make them come true! WILL YOU JOIN US? 

Click here to learn about our Education Program and how you can get involved!


Giveback Partner Spotlight: Cassandra Le of The Quirky Pineapple

We’re so excited to introduce this month’s Giveback Partner Spotlight! Cassandra Le has supported Kurandza since the beginning of 2018 through her amazing business, The Quirky Pineapple Studio. This entrepreneur owns a virtual studio that offers copywriting and content strategy services to fellow entrepreneurs. We are honored to have Cassandra on our team of partners!

Sit back and enjoy the interview! Be sure to check out Cassandra’s website and Instagram where she shares copywriting tips and her travel adventures.

Can you share with us about the backstory of The Quirky Pineapple Studio? What motivated you to start it?

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Before The Quirky Pineapple Studio became what it is today, it was first The Quirky Pineapple Lifestyle & Travel Blog, where I shared stories and advice on travel, lifestyle, and women's empowerment. I started it in 2014 during my last year in University as a travel blog. When I moved to Spain to teach English in 2014, that's when my blog started to really gain more traction and I took it more seriously as I shared tips and advice about living abroad, traveling around Spain, and trying to design a lifestyle of freedom and flexibility.

After two years of teaching English and blogging about travel, I decided to move back home to the United States. That's when I started discovering and learning more about entrepreneurship and what I could do to really make a career out of my blog. I decided to rebrand and create a service based business, what is now called The Quirky Pineapple Studio! :) I decided to offer services that could directly help people, give me the opportunity to be my own boss, become location-independent, and allowed me to move back to Spain to be with my boyfriend!

The Quirky Pineapple Studio still has a large blogging component, but we are a virtual studio that offers copywriting and content strategy services to hospitality, tourism, and gastronomy businesses.

What is your favorite aspect of running your own business?

My favorite aspect of running my own business is the fact that I can choose what to do next, how to approach clients and marketing, how I share about my services, etc. I am the visionary and the person that's bringing MY dream to life! If there are changes or obstacles along the way, I can adapt and grow with those changes and see how I can use those situations to grow The Quirky Pineapple Studio. Really, it's the fact that I'm able to bring my vision and help create a better world through the work that I do.

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Who is your dream client and what do you help them do?

My dream client is a small business owner in the hospitality, tourism, and/or gastronomy business who believes in building client relationships and creating a community with the services that they provide. They're not only there to provide an experience, but they also want to be part of their client's journey and adventure!

I love helping these types of clients with copywriting AND content strategy, to first create a clear message that is centered around their brand voice and community aspect and then create a plan and strategy around the content that they share online (and in-person) to show-off what they can offer to THEIR clients. I help my clients create communities of loyal clients and fans through heartfelt copy and content that really connects.

You have been traveling and up to some super exciting things! Can you tell us more about your most recent trip(s)?

Yes! It's been crazy to think that only a year ago, I started my entrepreneurial journey and I've been so fortunate to have amazing opportunities present themselves. During October and November, I decided to travel to Latin America with a program that provides trips for digital nomads. We started our trip in Buenos Aires, Argentina - where we stayed for one month. It was really exciting to be in such a large and artistic city, learn from Argentinian culture, and expand my audience!

Then, in November, we moved to Santiago, Chile. Chile has been one of the best experiences I've had while traveling. I was able to visit the Atacama Desert (the driest desert in the world) and enjoy the beautiful landscapes that Chile has. It's also been exciting to explore Santiago and this country, learn about the Indigenous culture, and appreciate the food that they offer.

Now, I'm headed back to the United States for the holidays, after being gone for one year! I'm excited to be with my family and use this next month to reset, recharge, and regroup my goals and intentions for 2019 for The Quirky Pineapple Studio! So far, I don't have any travel plans for 2019 - but I'm always learning to be flexible and open to any opportunities that present themselves.

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What's your favorite part of being a Kurandza Giveback Partner?

My favorite part of being a Kurandza Giveback Partner is knowing exactly what and how my donations help the girls in Mozambique! I know I'm contributing to a great cause, have a clear breakdown of what happens to my donations, and working with Elisabetta is so easy! I really feel like a part of this organization and feel like I've built a close relationship with Elisabetta.

The program makes it easy to donate, support and I know how hard Kurandza works to provide the best experience for their Giveback Partners!

Why is women empowerment and girls education important to you?

I really believe that empowering and educating girls and women is the best way to continuously grow for the future. There are so many situations where girls and women are unable to confidently share their voice, get taken seriously, or are questioned because of lack of "proper" education, which strips ALL women from our opportunities for growth and leadership. I believe that a woman and girls are strong, resilient, and fierce - and in order for all of us to step into our power, we must all receive the same opportunities for education to be able to lead further.

There are SO many incredible organizations out there! What inspired you to choose to work with Kurandza?

The mission and team behind Kurandza are what really inspired me to work with them! I was first connected with Elisabetta and her story/drive for this organization. After following Kurandza for some time and seeing how much thought and intention goes into everything that they do, I knew that by choosing to partner and work with them, I would really see an impact with my donations. I also love the fact that Kurandza is truly a grassroots organization - so there aren't any loops or hoops that the money goes through. Both the founders, Elisabetta and Percina, are so kind and open that it was an easy choice to work with Kurandza!


CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT ANOTHER ONE OF KURANDZA’S AMAZING GIVEBACK PARTNERS, Mandi Holmes of she can coterie.

Are you interested in learning more about our Giveback Partner program? Click here!


School's Out In Mozambique!

BECAUSE OF YOU 100+ GIRLS HAVE COMPLETED THEIR FIRST SPONSORED SCHOOL YEAR!

It’s December and that means that school is out in Mozambique! Our first group of sponsored girls (from the 2017 #IStandForGirls Campaign) just finished their first sponsored year of school! A lot of the girls finished their first year of school ever, and some of the other, older girls, finished their first year of school without difficulty. Having a uniform, all school fees, school supplies, and transportation paid for mean that attending school isn’t a struggle, but an exciting opportunity to learn and get ahead in life. Because of our sponsors, none of our girls have dropped out of school in this first year, which is a HUGE accomplishment!

Read below to see what some of our sponsored girls have learned this year!


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GILDA, AGE 6

Gilda is 6-years-old and just graduated from the first grade! She just completed her first year of school ever. She loves learning to write and count. When she grows up, she dreams of becoming a nurse so that she can help people in her community. 

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MAYITA, AGE 7

This is Mayita! She's 7 years old and LOVES learning! She also just graduated from first grade, and this past year was her first year in school! Her favorite subject is Portuguese. When she grows up she wants to be a professor. Yay Mayita!

ESMENIA, AGE 13

Esmenia is 13-years-old and is in the 6th grade. Esmenia's favorite subjects are math and art because for the first time in her life, she has a ruler set and compass so she can participate fully in all of the activities. She learned how to use a protractor in math class this year! Because of our sponsors, Esmenia is on track at school and has been able to complete all of her homework assignments. She’s looking forward to starting the 7th grade in February!

WE COULDN’T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT OUR SPONSORS!

School fees, supplies, and a uniform may not seem like much in developing nations, but to our girls in Mozambique, it means the difference between attending school and dropping out or not attending school in the first place.

Education changes lives in Mozambique. It prevents girls from becoming child brides, improves their health and nutrition, and empowers girls to dream for the future!

Thank you to all of our amazing sponsors for helping over 100 girls finish their first sponsored year of school this year! We’re excited for 200 girls to start the next school year in February!


Giveback Partner Spotlight: Mandi Holmes of She Can Coterie

Giveback Partner Spotlight: Mandi Holmes of She Can Coterie

We’re so excited to introduce this month’s Giveback Partner Spotlight! Mandi Holmes has supported Kurandza since this past Spring through her amazing business, She Can Coterie. This #GirlBoss owns an expert business management and marketing boutique with a team of 18 incredible women. Each of these women help other boss ladies make their dreams a reality and walk in their strengths. Mandi explains that “when women walk in their strength it inspires other women to walk in theirs, and together we will change the world.” We are honored to have Mandi on our team of partners!

2018 #IStandForGirls Campaign Recap

2018 #IStandForGirls Campaign Recap

We did it! In two months we successfully secured scholarships for over 100 girls in Mozambique! We reached (and even surpassed!) our goal of providing school fees, books, uniforms, backpacks, and transportation to 100 vulnerable girls so that they will be able to get an education in Mozambique!

#IStandForGirls: Meet Our Pre-schoolers!

#IStandForGirls: Meet Our Pre-schoolers!

In the states, we’re in the midst of the hustle and bustle of a brand new school year. But for our girls in Mozambique, the school year is winding down in November. Since their school year runs from February to November, all of the girls the Kurandza community supported through the 2017 #IStandForGirls campaign are just about finished with their school year - their first one ever for many of them!