Happy International Women’s Day!
At Kurandza, we’re all about celebrating strong women, and more than that, helping women and young girls see that they are strong regardless of cultural bias, education level, disadvantages, and more.
As a women-led organization, we’re no strangers to the pressure to “prove ourselves” to other businesses and, yes, even to other women. We’re well acquainted with the feeling of not “being enough” and, like most women, are constantly fighting the urge to compare. While we know that everyone’s journey is different, today isn’t about comparison. Today is about celebrating women of all backgrounds, regardless of our differences. Today is about women empowerment and acceptance. Today is about each of us.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, we want to tell you a few of the stories of our “Kurandza women and girls” - stories that we know will inspire and encourage you too. Kurandza is determined to uplift and empower the women we work with, and what better way than by telling their stories?
Today, we'd like you to get to know Percina, Gina, and our school girls even more:
Our co-founder and Country Director, Percina, is worth celebrating for so many reasons. Everyone who meets her is instantly in love with her warmth, smile, and passion for life. But, of course, her life hasn’t been an easy one. As is the case for most girls in Mozambique, Percina grew up with limited access to education. The closest school was a ten-mile walk, which she committed to make each day. Percina overcame all odds to become the first girl to graduate from high school in her village and was the starting point of her passion for educating the next generation of girls. Her drive to keep going back then, inspires us to keep going today.
Gina, our Head Educator is a mother of six - who works incredibly hard to ensure that her children are able to attend school, have clothes and food to eat, and have a chance at a brighter future. She was our Founder, Elisabetta’s, host mom during her time in the Peace Corps and through that relationship, joined the Kurandza team. At first, she used her skills as an artisan to become one of the first women in our Sewing Cooperative. From there, due to her incredible attention to detail and remarkable skill in her work, she became the Production Manager of our Coop. Today, she is a woman of many roles as she teaches fellow community members (and our school girls) about health and leadership skills. She’s an incredibly important leader of Kurandza on the ground in Mozambique and we’re continually in awe of how much she is able to handle.
Most recently, one of our school girls was hesitant to begin school a few weeks ago. She wasn’t sure she even wanted to attend school in the first place. But, when she saw her uniform, brand new and just for her, and a backpack to carry all of her school supplies and books, she changed her mind and her hesitation and nervousness melted into excitement and passion. Now, more than a month into school, she’s enrolled in our Holistic Education program (along with many other girls!) where she has access to after-school tutoring, learns about health, and has the chance to participate in extracurricular activities like soccer, arts and crafts, and yoga. She has the chance to dream of a brighter, empowered future, because of her determination to overcome her fear.
These are only a few the women Kurandza is committed to empowering (by showing them the value of their own inner-strength) and, we don’t plan to stop anytime soon. With the support of our community - YOU - we’re able to make life-changing differences in the lives of girls and women in Mozambique. And that is something worth celebrating this International Women’s Day!
We’re grateful for a worldwide community of strong, empowered, generous women and wouldn’t be able to do what we do without each and every one of you.
And most of all, we are proud to be women and we are proud to support women today, and everyday.
What does women empowerment mean to you? Let us know how you’re celebrating today in the comments below!