Business, Featured, Personal Life

Why “I Stand For Girls” with Kurandza

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I am Jess! Ottawa brand strategist and website designer helping passionate service-based businesses grow with confidence. I usually have PSL in one hand, scrunchie in another, and will probably use one too many exclamation mark in my emails. You have been forewarned! If you ever want to chat any thing biz, branding, or well - life I am your gal! 

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Did you know that over 132 million girls around the world are out of school? Something that we take for granted everyday is a life-altering privilege for others.


Growing up, I lived a pretty sheltered life. When we moved from Hong Kong to Canada, my parents sacrificed a lot in order to move my brother and I to a well-respected community so that we could grow up have access to the best public school education there was. For the longest time, I never thought of education as a luxury — but of course, that was the privilege and naivety speaking at that time. Although I was never a straight-A student, I loved getting involved with extracurriculars wherever possible. From student council to the prom committee, interact club to musical theatre, I filled my time with activities, experiences, and opportunities that shaped me into the person I am today.

You see, school is more than just reading and writing, exams and school subjects. Sure, all of that is important, but the soft skills we develop are just as crucial and often overlooked. Education is also about teamwork and collaboration, problem-solving and critical thinking, decision making, and public speaking. It’s where we begin the journey of discovering who we are and who we want to spend our time with. Our dreams and goals. What’s right VS what’s wrong.

“Education is the foundation of who we are and who we aspire to be”.

When I stumbled across Kurandza, it felt like serendipity. I found Elisabetta Colabianchi through the power of the gram’ and fell in love with her passion, dedication, and commitment to empowering girls in Mozambique. She met her co-founder, Percina, during her time at the Peace Corps, and begun her life’s journey and advocacy in girls’ education — through Kurandza! Kurandza, means love, is a non-profit social enterprise that invests in the future of women and girls in Mozambique through holistic education and sustainable development programs.

What I admire about this grassroots organization is that they develop their programs through the needs and feedback of the local community. There is no bureaucratic red tape and Kurandza does an impeccable job at providing updates and reports of how the children are doing in school and within their local communities. You can seriously feel your impact making a difference. Over the past years, the Kurandza team has launched various campaigns to support the needs of the Mozambique village — such as the #feedmozambique campaign in support of nutrition and health care, and most recently the #IStandForGirls campaign that has taken social media by the storm every September.

Launched in 2017, the #IStandForGirls movement is an online campaign to send 205 children to go to school. Aside from tuition and transportation, these girls will also receive a uniform, school supplies, access to after-school tutoring and counseling, extracurricular activities, and more.

When I started my business, I knew I wanted to make an impact and give back. And after having participated in the campaign back in 2018, I knew I wanted to find a way in the future to be involved with Kurandza in any way that I can. I am grateful to have the opportunity again this year to be a part of this campaign, as well as a give back partner. I believe all girls around the world should have equal access to education and opportunities no matter where they live and who they are. To me, all girls are born with an unwavering sense of strength, compassion, and curiosity — and that the potential of a girl is unlocked when she is surrounded by the right people and is equipped with the power of education.

#IStandForGirls because…

  • When girls are educated, they are less likely to become child brides, contract HIV, or have unplanned pregnancies.

  • When girls are educated, they can earn a higher income and in turn invest everything back into their communities.

  • When girls are educated, they are more likely to change the world around them for the better.

In Mozambique, a young girl’s education costs approximately $20/month — which is practically how much we spend on coffee each week! And while I am a big supporter of caffeine, I am hoping you will also consider joining me in changing a girl’s life forever by helping her get access to the education she needs to become a leader for her family, her community, and most importantly — herself.

Because when a girl gets an education she…

  • Is less likely to become a child bride

  • Has improved nutrition and access to better health care

  • Is likely to do what she can to uplift other girls in her community

  • Can dream about a bright future!

Will you join us in building the next generation of girls?

Read Kurandza’s 2019 Annual Report here.
To learn more about Kurandza and their efforts, click
here.
To learn more about the #IStandForGirls movement, click
here.

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  1. Joanna says:

    Wow! This is absolutely incredible. Thank you for spreading the word on this impactful organization. It’s so inspiring. I can’t wait to learn more!

  2. Elisabetta says:

    Love that you’re a part of our community, Jess! Thank you for all you do to help girls have access to education! 💞💞

    • Jess P says:

      Ahhh Elisabetta — thank YOU for the work that you do everyday. It’s absolutely so inspiring and I can’t wait to watch us crush the 2021 goal!

  3. Mandy says:

    Love this post about Kurandza and the amazing things they are doing for girl’s education. So inspiring! I also enjoyed your thoughts on how it’s more than just education. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jess P says:

      Every child deserves the right to an education! I am so honored to be playing such a small role in spreading the word 🙂 Thank you for reading!!

  4. Nicole Pearson says:

    Love that you used SUCH a gift for words. Absolutely beautiful, dear!

  5. Cassandra says:

    Love hearing about your heart behind this mission!

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