Giveback Partner Spotlight: Clarissa Rodriguez of SheRocks@College

Our monthly spotlights of our Giveback Partners is one of our favorite blog posts of the month because it gives a "face to the name" of the people who make Kurandza what it is. Giveback Partners are monthly supporters of Kurandza, either individually, as an organization, or through a retail partnership or event. 

Today, we are so excited to introduce you to Clarissa, the founder of SheRocks@College. Clarissa has an incredible, contagious passion for educating girls that aligns perfectly with our work in Mozambique. We're so honored to have her as a Partner. 

We know you're going to love her too :)


You've been involved with Kurandza since you helped fund our Country Director, Percina's first trip to the US! What is your favorite program we've established, and why?

This last project #IStandForGirls has been my favorite for sure. While I was getting my traditional American education it never occurred to me that it was a privilege. I had no idea that this was a special gift that I had been given. I never knew not everyone received an education. I had no clue that somewhere across the world another little girl was being denied the one thing that should never be taken away from her, her knowledge.

I didn’t learn this truth as deep as I know it now until I was in college. And I could never shake the feeling that the solution to some of our worlds biggest issues was lying in the mind of a girl who was never given the chance to develop the skills to bring it to life. So part of my life’s work is around making sure every girl who wants it has access to an education.

Your business is built to help college-aged women excel in their studies. We think that's incredible! Could you tell us a little bit about the story behind this passion?

I was a first-generation college student, and learning the ropes of getting into college and then just trying to survive and succeed while I was there was tough. My parents didn’t understand it. The education system where they come from is totally different and they grew up in 3rd world country level of poverty so college was never even an option for them.

I struggled.

I failed class after class after class on my road of trying to become an OBGYN, and instead of being encouraged and helped, I was told that I wasn’t smart enough and that I didn’t have what it takes. And that crushed me. Deep down I knew it wasn’t true but those words really stuck with me and were the catalyst for me exploring how to learn.

I don’t believe in the idea that you’re either born smart or not. I believe that every girl has the ability and power within her to become extraordinarily smart regardless of her circumstances, background, and past grades. I created SheRocks@College to equip the next generation of female leaders with the skills that are essential to succeed in college so that they can step out and continue to change the world with their knowledge and talent.

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What is your favorite part of your job?

The transformations. Watching these women go from doubting their brilliance to embodying the pure belief and confidence in themselves, abilities and their future.

Why is educating the next generation important to you?

Most of the students I know think that what I’m helping them do is get A’s and B’s in their college courses. But I know how much deeper my work goes. I know the impact passing their courses will have on their college education and how that will impact their career, income, self-confidence and the life they will go on to live.

I see how each small victory in their classes builds their confidence and strength to overcome any obstacle they might encounter. I see them inspiring and raising up the next generation for success. I’m rooting for them to win in life, not just college.

As one of our earliest Giveback partners, helping fund Percina's first trip to the US, what inspired you to partner with us?

I wholeheartedly believe that women have the power to change this whole world, and it starts by empowering them through education and access to the skills to do it.

Why were you excited to join as a launch team member for our #IStandForGirls campaign last September?

I think often we can forget the true impact our donations have on these kinds of efforts. It’s not just an education it’s a whole family that gets impacted, a whole community, a whole town, a whole country. That bigger vision is what I was excited about.

Through our GiveBack Partnership program, you've donated over $500, which sends one girl to school for an entire year and provides a subsidy to our art teacher for over 5 months! First of all, THANK YOU! Second of all, how does breaking down your impact thus far feel as a donor and sponsor?

It feels amazing to me because of what it makes possible for these girls. I’m more excited about the impact this one girl I helped sponsor will make in the world than the impact I’ve made.

If you weren't running SheRocks@College, what do you think you'd be doing?

I’d probably be a full-time nurse and dedicating a part of my life to volunteering as a medical professional in other countries. Access to basic needs and skills is really important to me and I think I will always be drawn to the kind of work that makes sure that happens.

And just for fun, what are a few things most people don't know about you?

  • I am obsessed with late 1940’s and early 1950’s fashion and decor. I own way too many clip-on earrings even though my ears are pierced because that was part of the style in that era.
  • I’ve watched Mad Men from start to finish a total of 8x. There are 7 seasons so, yeah. That’s a little crazy.
  • Every month I buy a slice of this death by chocolate cake at a local mom and pop restaurant and I refuse to share it with my husband.

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT BECOMING ONE OF OUR GIVEBACK PARTNERS? FILL OUT THIS FORM AND WE WILL BE IN TOUCH SHORTLY!

Kurandza's Top Ten Goals for 2018

A few weeks ago we shared our Impact Report thus far, and, as inspiring as it is to look back on what we've been able to accomplish with the help of our supporters, we are even more excited to look forwardWe are almost a month into 2018 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 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!

In 2018 we Plan To:

 

1. DOUBLE the Impact of our #IStandForGirls2018 Campaign 

As many of you know (because you were a part of it!) in 2017, we raised funds to give school scholarships to more than 100 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 2018, we plan to more than double the number of girls we send to school via the #IStandForGirls2018 Campaign!

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

2. Support our Partner Pre-School

One of our partner schools, the pre-school we partner with in Southern Mozambique, is in desperate need of a face lift. This year, we plan to build new dormitories and bathrooms for them, as well as repaint the classrooms.

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3. Add to our list of products sold by our Sewing Cooperative

Our very first program in Mozambique is still in action. Despite a few recent setbacks to the cooperative's equipment, we plan to add more funding for this project to keep it growing. For 2018, we hope to expand the product line, adding more types of totes, handbags, clutches and more. This cooperative provides a sustainable income for the women employed, so expanding with new products means more income for these ladies!

4. Employ even more women in the community

Our sewing cooperative isn't the only way we've created jobs in Guijá. We're always looking for new ways to employ the women in the community. We are hoping to give even more women the opportunity to work as tutors, health educators, counselors, art teachers, and dance instructors through the implementations of our Holistic Education Program in the village.

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5. Start several more small businesses to further drive commerce for the community

We aren't afraid to dream big! One of our first projects was to build a convenience store, which provided income for an entire family. Our goal is to continue to promote the establishment of small, family-run businesses in the area to encourage community growth. Our women's current ideas include a produce stand, a hair salon, and a meat market business. 

6. Continue preventing the transmission of HIV to hundreds of babies through our Nutrition Program

Our Nutrition Program is one of our most successful and important programs in Mozambique. What started as a campaign to provide emergency food aid during the hunger crisis (our #FeedMozambique campaign) has grown into a sustainable program that provides families, HIV+ women, and children with the education they need to stay healthy. 

7. Fund Percina's trip(S) to the US!

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! This year, we are hoping to bring her back TWO times, to participate in conferences, meet donors, and make new friends. Percina has overcome so much and traveling to the US 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.

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8. Double our Giveback Partner number! 

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. The bigger our Giveback Partner base, the more we're able to accomplish! We're hoping to partner with even more women-leaders and entrepreneurs to create even more change this year! 

(If you're interested in learning more about our Giveback Partner program or signing up, click here!)

9. Grow our US Based team

Even though the majority of our team is on the ground in Mozambique, we are hoping to strengthen our presence in the US by adding a few more members to our team. So far, Elisabetta has hired two new team members, a graphic designer, and a bookkeeper, and hopes to grow our team even more. Growing our team allows Elisabetta to spend more time creating new programs and working on the ground with the women we serve.

10. Host our First Ever Empowerment Trip!

We are SO excited about this goal. Although the details are yet to be released, we can't wait to tell you more. Community is one of Kurandza's most valued tools- we love facilitating events and organizing ways for women to come together to be inspired and make a difference together. Our Empowerment Trips will do just that. Stay tuned!

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These goals are only possible through the support of our incredible community. We have big dreams for Mozambique, and we can't wait to partner with you to make them come true!

Kurandza's Impact Report

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 2018 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, sending more than 100 sweet girls to school. Looking back inspires us to keep pushing forward. 

Here's to an inspiring, impactful 2018!

Because of you, we've...

- created a women's sewing cooperative to provide income for HIV+ women:

One of our very first projects as a non-profit in Mozambique came as the result of Elisabetta's time working with the Peace Corps counseling HIV+ women. She created this cooperative to provide the women she had worked with for two years with a means of earning a living. This project has helped these women pay for transportation to reach the hospital every month and stay on their HIV treatment, improve their homes by upgrading from mud to bricks, and straw roofs to tin roofs, even buying their own dishware or bedding for the first time in their lives. They're also able to participate in community savings clubs, and send their children to school! 

- built a convenience store with a family in the community:

In partnership with a family in a neighboring town, we helped fund the construction of a convenience and grocery store. The store encourages local economic growth, creates jobs in the village, and eliminates the need to travel often to the nearest city. Not only does this store provide assistance to the community as a whole, but it provides a source of income to a family. Since it's construction, the family has used their profit to purchase more bottles (everything is recycled in Mozambique and sodas and other beverages are cased in glass bottles that are turned in when you want to purchase more-- no bottles, no beverages!) and build a veranda so that people can sit out and enjoy a drink even when it's raining! Since their start, Percina taught the family about inventory management and bookkeeping so that they could continue to grow their business. 

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- developed a Nutrition Program via our #FeedMozambique Campaign:

In 2016, we launched our #FeedMozambique campaign as a response to the hunger crisis in Mozambique. With the help of generous donors from all over the world, we raised more than $7,000 to provide meals to more than 35 families as well as HIV prevention training to nursing mothers in the area. We established a Nutrition Program (which still exists to this day) to educate HIV+ mothers and provide them with safe formula if they decided to stop nursing their babies. Finally, we also helped families plant gardens and distributed seeds, to encourage a sustainable, renewable food source. 

-raised funds to send more than 100 girls to school through our first #IStandForGirls Campaign: 

Most recently, and perhaps most impactful, our #IStandForGirls campaign in September 2017 raised funds to send over 100 girls to school! Their sponsorship includes tuition, uniforms, transportation, meals, after-school care, and school supplies. Our Holistic Education program provides girls with the opportunity to dream about a bright future. 

In a few years, here's what we've accomplished so far: 

  • 9 women learned to sew through our Sewing Cooperative. They also learned about entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and health.
  • 35 families received emergency food aid during the hunger crisis through our #FeedMozambique Campaign.
  • An entire family was employed through the convenience store and the village's economy was improved. 
  • 200+ babies participated in our nutrition program, allowing them to have safe food while their mother continued treatment for HIV.
  • 100+ girls received scholarships to attend school through our #IStandForGirls campaign. They also received access to our Holistic Education Program, providing them counseling, after-school care and more. 

We're dreaming about an even BIGGER and more IMPACTFUL 2018 - Will you join us? 

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

Giveback Partner Spotlight: Janna Barker of Isiko

Although Kurandza's work is in Mozambique, people from all over the world are involved in our mission to make education accessible to all girls. One of the most exciting aspects of our social enterprise is cultivating a community who values our mission and, in turn, getting to support them and their work as well. 

Our Giveback Partners are some of our most valuable community members for their commitment to supporting our cause. They help spread the word and pledge to donate a portion of their own business revenue to help our girls. We want you to know just how awesome our Giveback Partners are, so starting today, we are introducing a new series of interviews where we showcase each Giveback Partner, allowing you to get to know them and support them in the same ways they support us. 

First up, Janna Barker, the founder of the online artisan marketplace Isiko. Janna's business is as inspiring as it is beautifully curated and we can't wait for you to learn a little bit more about her. 


How did your brand begin? Can you tell us a little bit about the background of Isiko? 

For years I have wanted to provide a platform for traditional artists from around the world to showcase their cultural arts to the rest of the world.  I reached a point in my life where I was at a crossroads and could start over. I decided it was time to go after this dream.

What does Isiko mean and what is the name's significance for the mission of your brand?

Three years ago, I returned from a memorable stint with the Peace Corps in Swaziland.  "Isiko" means "art/tradition/culture" in SiSwati.  The name really embodies what my brand is about--keeping the traditional arts existing in cultures around the world. 

You were a member of our launch team for the #IStandForGirls campaign (thank you!!), what was your favorite part of the campaign and what are you excited about for our 2018 campaign?

I always have a little sign at my craft shows that tells people a percentage of my sales goes to the I Stand for Girls campaign.  At one particular event, a young lady came up to my booth, browsed a bit, then picked out an item and said she wanted to buy it because she knew what it felt like to be one of those girls!  She was able to attend school in Africa due to the support of strangers who sponsored her school fees.  She is now finishing high school in San Diego where she lives with her adopted parents.

In addition to being a Giveback Partner, you were one of the few who got to meet our co-founder Percina during her time in the US. How did meeting her impact your vision of Kurandza and our work in Mozambique?  

Percina is a wonderful, sweet and delightful person.  With Percina leading the efforts in Mozambique I know things are in good hands.  Hearing her tell her story is comforting to know that she understands the challenges that the girls face, having been through it herself and having the determination and smarts to graduate herself.  She will not only be an inspiration to the girls and the I Stand for Girls partners but is an inspiration to me as well. 

Can you explain a bit about the process of choosing artisans to partner with?

The artisans I choose to partner with are people who keep an element of tradition in their work.  Whether that is the methods in which they create a piece or the materials they use.  Having this element in the art Isiko carries is important because I believe culture can be learned through its art.  Unfortunately, many of the traditional arts are dying out due to globalization and artisans moving to bigger towns to find jobs to provide for their family. 

Click here to support shop Isiko's incredible selection (and, in turn, support our girls in Mozambique!) 

What has been the biggest challenge you've had to overcome when starting a socially conscious business? 

I've been pleasantly surprised to see that instead of facing challenges as a socially conscious business, I've been met with positive support in my mission of giving back.

We love that you're one of our Giveback Partners. What drew you to our mission initially and why do you value girls' education? 

I actually learned about Kurandza from a mom blog (full disclosure, I am not a mother, haha! I was looking into social conscious brands and the blogger had posted a list of her favorites.). After looking into Kurandza a little bit I learned that Elisabetta is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. Having this in common, and seeing her actually do something similar to my passion, I reached out to her, in hopes to talk Peace Corps stories and learn about what it was like to run a social enterprise. 

I value a girls education because I know that given the opportunity they can grow up to become influential leaders.  They have the capacity in themselves to not only lead others but to make a difference and create an impact among their community. 

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Where do you see your business in five years?

My Isiko hopes are to develop a place for artisans to thrive, showcase their work, and in turn, bring the customer's appreciation and recognition to the artisan's culture. 

And lastly, just for fun, what is something that most people don't know about you? 

Even at a young age I was fascinated with other cultures; I lived most of my formative years in the Philippines and majored in Anthropology in college. 


Want to learn more about becoming one of our Giveback Partners? Fill out this form and we will be in touch shortly!

3 Non-Material Gift Ideas That Give Back

Christmas is only a few days away (eeeek!) and more than likely, you've been swamped with gift guides and sales and are just about "shopped out" for the season. Or, maybe you're one of the last-minute shoppers who hope to gather some quick inspiration for meaningful gifts that won't end up in the garage sale pile after a few months. We have four words for you: gifts that give back.

Whether you're simply a pro-procrastinator, a minimalist when it comes to gift giving, or you've been waiting for "just the thing" to give your loved ones, we have a few ideas that won't add clutter to anyone's lives and, more than that, can actually change a life. 

Non-material gifts don't get the hype that they deserve for a few reasons- they can't be unwrapped or placed under a tree, and to some (young kids especially) they seem like a bit of a letdown, compared to the thrill of a fancy, new gift from your wish-list. 

However, we are huge proponents of choosing at least one gift that gives back for someone on your list this year- regardless of their age or the length of their wish-list. Non-material gifts, things like sponsoring a child's education, providing water to areas who don't have easy access, or even a simple donation to a social enterprise or non-profit that the recipient values, can be life-changing. 

Non-material gifts don't always get the hype they deserve, but whether its for your child, a relative, or your best friend, choosing to give them a gift that gives back will keep the holiday cheer going long after the presents are unwrapped.

Here are a few of our favorite non-material gift options that will continue to make an impact long after the craze of the holidays has passed. 

1. Sponsor A Girl's Holistic Education

There are lots of amazing social enterprises out there making a difference in children's education all over the world, but, of course, we're partial to our sweet girls in Mozambique. During our #IStandForGirl's campaign, we raised funds for school supplies, tuition, and transportation to school for more than 100 girls. Our current holistic education program provides the same girls with access to empowerment programs, after-school tutoring, health education, and more.

Sponsoring a child's education is the perfect gift for children and adults alike: it presents the perfect opportunity to teach a child about their ability to help others, and open their eyes to issues that many other kids, just like them, face every day. 

To sponsor one of our girls via a monthly (or one-time) donation, click here!

2. Volunteer Together in Your Community 

Another more "hands-on" idea is to donate your time, volunteering at a local homeless shelter, charity, or other socially conscious organization. Not only is it healthy to spend time helping others, but it can make a needed difference in the lives of people in your community. 

You could visit a local senior center together, to sing Christmas carols, decorate cookies, and spread cheer. Or, you could send holiday cards to prison inmates, those in pediatric hospitals, or hospice care. 

This idea is a very inexpensive way to give back on a personal level to those who don't have access to their normal holiday traditions and may feel isolated during the "most wonderful time of the year". Usually, the smallest gifts have the most impact. 

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3. Donate to A Cause You Both Care About In Their Name

Less specific than sponsoring a child's education is making a general donation to a non-profit or social enterprise making changes in the world that you (and the gift-ee) care about. It can be an anonymous donation or, better yet, a donation in their name, to encourage them to follow along with the progress of the organization to see how their gift made an impact.

Do you both care about the global water crisis, environmental sustainability, women's rights, or education? Find a cause that the giftee is passionate about that you can stand behind and choose to donate to the cause on their behalf. 

If you're passionate about women's rights and girls education, click here to support Kurandza. If you're passionate about other causes like economic development, agriculture and food sustainability, or water, health and sanitation, check out Global Dream Collective's list of favorite organizations making a real difference in the world. 


Gift giving doesn't have to be complicated or cluttered. Whether it's for a child, an old friend, or a distant relative, giving a non-material gift in honor of a cause you support is a gift that will keep on giving all year long. 

2017 #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!

We surpassed our goal because of the amazing Kurandza community of supporters and this post is meant to give everyone involved a recap of what their participation helped achieve and say a huge THANK YOU to each and every person involved. 

But first, a little bit of background about the #IStandForGirls campaign.

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It all started with the #IStandForGirls launch party in San Francisco. Percina, our Co-Founder from Mozambique, was here for the party, which allowed local supporters to meet her and hear her inspiring story.

At the party, we held a "Do Good Marketplace" featuring brands like Sseko, Beauty Counter, and doTerra essential oils - each donating 20% of the proceeds to Kurandza’s #IStandForGirls campaign. Talk about generosity.

We also had some incredible swag bag and raffle sponsors like Isiko, Timshel Living, Whole Foods Market, and Zeal Living! Thank you also to Radiant Co-working space for sponsoring our venue, and SnapFiesta for sponsoring the beautiful photobooth!

Were you at that Launch Party? THANK YOU for attending! We can't wait to see you again next year. 

After the event, the campaign launched full-force on social media, and it wouldn't have been a success without the help of SO many amazing people from all over the world who joined in to share about our campaign and spread the #IStandForGirls campaign love around. 

We had multiple types of sponsors and want to take a moment to thank them all personally here. Be sure to check out each of their wonderful businesses, blogs, brands, and more. 

A Special Thank you to everyone who partnered with us in multiple ways to make this campaign a success: 

Thank you to our Giveback Partners for your commitment to support Kurandza: 

Click here for more information on how to become a Giveback Partner!

Thank you to everyone who Sponsored one of our more than 100 girls during the campaign and those who made a onetime donation: 

a big thank you to everyone who wrote about our campaign on their blog: 

If you partnered with us by sharing in other ways, like Instagram stories, Facebook posts, and of course, word of mouth, we can't thank you enough!

And finally, a HUGE thank you to the talented ladies who created the beautiful graphics and photos for our campaign:

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The success of our first #IStandForGirls campaign is proof that our community is powerful and that when so many incredible people unite, real lives of girls who need your help are changed. 

Now, who is ready for NEXT YEAR?!

We're Hiring!

The Kurandza team is hiring an awesome virtual assistant!

The Role: We’re looking for a passionate and enthusiastic Virtual Assistant who will provide administrative and logistical support to Kurandza’s Founder, Elisabetta. This person will be able to successfully work alongside Elisabetta and her team in Mozambique, as well as be strongly self-motivated and able to get work done without close supervision. If this sounds like you and you have a desire to make a positive impact in the world, and are easy and fun to work with, then we’re looking for you!

Our dream VA will have a love for making a difference, is a self-starter with a high attention to detail, is an excellent communicator, and enjoys connecting with people both online and in person. This is a part-time position starting with a few hours each week and the possibility of growth.

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Responsibilities:

  • Edit, upload, and send newsletters via MailChimp
  • Edit, upload, and publish blog posts via Squarespace
  • Assist with event planning, correspondence, and logistics
  • Create templates, spreadsheets, reports, and presentations
  • Social media engagement
  • Research
  • Create graphics using Canva
  • Set up email auto-responder sequence
  • Create, update and organize systems
  • Schedule appointments and travel
  • Assist with customer service and donor inquiries
  • Update and maintain website pages
  • Participate in Quarterly Planning and provide accountability
  • Pitch partnerships
  • Additional tasks and projects as needed
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Preferred Skills:

  • Organized and detail-oriented
  • Experience in writing and editing for landing pages, email marketing and social media
  • Experience with the following: MailChimp, Squarespace, Canva, Trello/Asana/Dubsado, Calendly
  • Fast learner and a self-starter
  • Ability to balance working independently and being part of a team
  • Flexible because Elisabetta travels and is always on different time zones
  • Knowledgeable about copy that converts
  • Great communicator (oral and written)
  • Interested in making a positive impact on the world!
  • Experience working in developing countries or for a social good/conscious company is a plus!
  • Already has a strong community of purpose-driven women is a plus!
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About Kurandza:

Kurandza is a grassroots social enterprise non-profit that uses education and entrepreneurship to empower girls and women in eastern Africa to become leaders in their communities. Kurandza has a yearly #IStandForGirls campaign aimed at creating educational scholarships for girls in Mozambique, and also runs several community development initiatives including a sewing cooperative, nutrition program, and entrepreneurship trainings. www.kurandza.org

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About Elisabetta:

Elisabetta is a social entrepreneur who started Kurandza after serving in the Peace Corps in Mozambique for three years. When she’s not at her home-base in the SF Bay Area, she is living the location-independent life traveling the world. She’s an INFJ/ENFJ. She loves chocolate, green juice, and 2pac! Her favorite things to do in her free-time are yoga, exploring nature, and learning new languages.  Elisabetta also runs the Global Dream Collective, a community and resource for women change-makers.

To Apply:

Please send an email with "VA Application" by Monday, November 13th, 2017 to info@kurandza.org with the following:

  1. Attached copy of your resume or your LinkedIn profile.
  2. Links to your Instagram and website.
  3. Responses to the questions below:

Why do you want to work with Kurandza?

What are your favorite common VA tasks/activities that really light you up?

Who are your top 3 favorite influencers?

Are you a perfectionist? Explain.

Which countries have you been to?

What is your availability for working with Kurandza?

What are your rates?

Tell me 3 fun facts about you!

Deadline: Monday, November 13th, 2017

 

Percina's Trip to the U.S.

Our Country Director in Mozambique, Percina, visited the US last month to help us kickoff our #IStandForGirls campaign! 

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We traveled from Mozambique back to the US together in the end of August, and went straight down to LA for the Yellow Conference, a gathering of 500+ incredibly inspiring creative women who are on a mission to do good in the world! She had such an amazing time sharing her story and meeting so many like-minded women leaders!

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Percina was also able to participate in a photoshoot with our friends Ashley and Nicole of Hazel and Pine! Helping with the visual identity of our brand while also creating lasting memories for both Percina and me!

Then on September 1st, we launched our #IStandForGirls campaign! Percina and I hosted the launch party together in San Francisco! She got to meet Kurandza supporters and talk more about our new education program in Mozambique.

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The rest of our time was spent visiting with friends, Kurandza supporters and donors and doing interviews and blog posts for the campaign! She was super busy this time, and we definitely worked a lot. Next time she visits, we'll have to plan more down time and do some sight-seeing!

We also visited a local Dining For Women chapter meeting where we spoke about our program, tabled outside of a church group, and visited my former high school where we spoke with the students about Mozambique, Peace Corps, and making a difference in the world!

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Then I accompanied Percina to New York City to drop her off at her gate in the airport to head back to Mozambique, and I headed to Mexico for a week-long leadership retreat.

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She arrived back to Mozambique safe and sound, and all of us (especially me!) miss her already.

Her next trip is planned for the Spring! If you'd like to connect with Percina while she's here, please email info@kurandza.org and let us know! <3 

#IStandForGirls! Bringing Education to Girls in Mozambique!

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On September 1st, Kurandza launched the #IStandfForGirls campaign to bring education to 100 girls in Mozambique!

Why girls education? 

When a girl gets an education, she’s able to dream…

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In the rural villages of Guijá District in southern Mozambique, it’s rare for girls to complete high school, let alone primary school. College isn’t even an option. Many girls drop out of school because their parents can’t pay for school costs or because they get pregnant.

Studies have shown that when girls go to school, they have less of a chance of contracting HIV, becoming a child bride, or having early pregnancies. They’ve also shown that when girls go to school, they have more confidence, higher self-esteem, better access to health care, and increased income.

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After working in the rural villages of Guijá District for 6 years (3 years with the Peace Corps, and 3 years with Kurandza), I’ve seen first hand the difference that an education makes. The women artisans of Kurandza were able to send their kids to school, pay for all school supplies, books, uniforms, backpacks, and transportation, and now these kids are flourishing. They are continuing to study, learning the national language, Portuguese, and are passing their classes. They are also learning life skills and positive behaviors related to responsibility, respect, and work ethic. Since Percina and I have seen such a success with these children going to school, we wanted to help even more children through a new educational project.

We decided to start with the goal of bringing education to 100 girls. We chose to focus on girls because when parents have funds for only one child to go to school, they often choose to send the boys. We chose to start with 100 girls because that’s the number of the most vulnerable girls—orphans or children of unemployed parents, it’s a manageable number with the size of our grassroots non-profit at the moment, and the sponsorship of 100 girls will employ 10 local women to run our holistic education program.

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The holistic education program will include after school tutoring, empowerment workshops, health education, parent-teacher conferences, and extra-curricular activities like art, sports, and theatre. The empowerment workshops will talk about gender equality, self-esteem, and self-defense. We wanted to include a holistic education program to create a safe, supportive space for our girls. Often times girls don’t find support with their parents, since they themselves have never gone to school. When their children want to drop out because the classes are difficult, their parents support that decision and tell them that they can get married instead. When our girls feel difficulty, we want to be there for them, and help support them through the hardships through counseling and tutoring. We also want their parents to be on board, that’s why we’ve created parent-teacher conferences and activities to include the parents more in their child’s education.

If you would like to join our movement and send a girl to school, you can become a monthly sponsor for $20/month here: www.kurandza.org/take-action

XOXO,

Elisabetta

Big Changes for Kurandza!

This year Kurandza is going to be showing up a little differently from what you're used to. In the past we have been able to impact our community using funding primarily from selling handmade products that our women in Mozambique make! This form of funding has been an amazing way to raise seed funding for our organization, and we have seen that by shifting models we can make even more of an impact!

Our product-based model enabled our women to earn a fair wage, providing for their families, and it also helped us start our social programs on the ground in Mozambique. Our social programs have been so successful that we want to focus even more on them this year!

We have been running our nutrition program since the hunger crisis hit a year ago. It has saved hundreds of children in the community. The community leaders are thrilled with this program and the difference it's making in our village. We plan on increasing our impact with this program by training more program leaders, performing more cooking demonstrations, and providing more nutritious food supplements for malnourished kids in the community. 

Two of the girls who are benefitting from our nutrition program.

Two of the girls who are benefitting from our nutrition program.

We have also started a pre-school scholarship program and have sent our first student to school. 3-year old Lindsey Brianna is now attending a private school in the province capital, where she's been given the chance at an education!

Lindsey wasn't even 6 months old here, and now she's 3 years old and starting pre-school!

Lindsey wasn't even 6 months old here, and now she's 3 years old and starting pre-school!

Our third goal this year is to raise funding to create more small, local businesses like the convenience store that was built in 2015 after a generous Kurandza donor contributed $2,000 to start this small business!

With $1,000, we can help a woman start a meat business or a small produce stand. With $2,000 or more, we can help someone build a hair salon, bar, or convenience store. So much is possible with so little money when it's in US dollars. Starting these businesses helps provide income for a family for their entire life-- and it also helps develop the community and spurs local commerce.

This is the inside of the convenience store we built during the day of it's inauguration!

This is the inside of the convenience store we built during the day of it's inauguration!

So what's happening to the women of Kurandza? Percina M. continues to run all of our programs in Mozambique while I'm in the US (we get to run things together when I'm in town!). Gina is her counterpart, and Percina C. is the head nutrition facilitator. The other ladies continue to facilitate the nutrition programs and are using their earnings from Kurandza to start their own local businesses.

Kurandza group photo! :) 

Kurandza group photo! :) 

We want our loyal customers to know that we appreciate your support! We will still be selling limited product until we run out of inventory. Purchase now before we run out! We may do special orders in the future, but for now, we are focusing more on our social programs and less on our products. 

If you would still like to support us in a way that can create the most impact, I'd love to invite you to join our monthly giving program

If you would like to fund an entire small business, you can email me to discuss details!

Thank you for all of your support and for creating an impact in the lives of hundreds of women and children in Mozambique!

XO,

Elisabetta