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Elisabetta Colabianchi --> Kurandza

September 24, 2018

Full Heart Co's blog interview with Elisabetta Colabianchi of the Non-Profit Organization Kurandza. FHC is honored to join them in empowering women in Mozambique.

I am SO beyond excited to introduce you to my friend, Elisabetta Colabianchi!!

Elisabetta is the founder + executive director of the non-profit social enterprise, Kurandza. They are empowering women and girls in Mozambique through education, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development programs. 

Mozambique is located in Southeast Africa.  The local language of Mozambique is Changana. Kurandza means “to love” in Changana. That is exactly what Kurandza is doing. They are loving these women + girls by providing them with what they believe is the strongest way to empower an entire community --- education. 

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You founded Kurandza in 2014 and now work as the Executive Director.

Can you tell us a little bit about your story and how Kurandza was started?

"Sure! I first came to Mozambique as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 2011. I was working at a local hospital counseling HIV+ women on the prevention of transmission to their babies. While I was working there, I noticed that many of the women didn’t come back to the hospital every month to get their treatment because they didn’t have a source of income to pay for transportation to the hospital. So I stayed a third year and started an income generation activity with these women. When I got back to the US, I realized that I wanted to continue working with my community, who had become like family to me, so I started Kurandza!"

Kurandza, Non-Profit, Give Back, To Love, Mozambique, Girls Education, Hand-Lettered Designs, Full Heart Co, Coffee Mugs, Blog

Was there something specific that drew you to Mozambique?

"I knew very little about Mozambique before I moved there! At the time, the Peace Corps didn’t let you choose where you would serve, and since I already spoke Spanish and Italian, they placed me in Mozambique because they thought I would easily learn Portuguese, their national language. I’m so glad they placed me there because Mozambique is a very special place "

Kurandza, Non-Profits, Give Back, Girls Education, Mozambique, Hand-Lettered Designs, Full Heart Co, Blog, Coffee Mugs

You split your time between California and Mozambique.

What does a typical day for you in Mozambique consist of?

"A typical day in Mozambique involves waking up when the sun comes up and boiling water to take a bath. Then I eat breakfast and get started on my work for the day. Work could mean going to our partner schools and working with the kids, planning new programs with my counterpart, Percina, or leading trainings with the women. The day isn’t complete without long talks and laughs with the neighbors and friends in the community—oh and playing with my 4-year-old namesake! When the sun goes down, I know it’s time to start heading to bed."

 

Full Heart Co's blog interview with Elisabetta Colabianchi of the Non-Profit organization Kurandza. Full Heart Co is honored to come alongside of Kurandza and their mission to empower women in Mozambique.

 

This month you launched the #IStandForGirls campaign to raise funds and awareness so that 200 deserving girls can attend school. That is so exciting!

Can you tell us more about this campaign? Why specifically is education SO important for these girls?

"Thank you—we’re super excited too! Last year we launched our first #IStandForGirls campaign with the goal of raising scholarships for 100 girls, and we surpassed this goal! This year we want to double that and provide access to education to 200 girls. For $20 each month or $240 each year, an individual can join our cause and sponsor the education of a girl in Mozambique. This will provide school fees, a backpack, a uniform, school supplies, books, and transportation to the girl. It will also enroll her in our holistic education program led by Kurandza educators.

Education is so important for these girls because when a girl is educated, she can dream —her life opens up to unlimited opportunities that wouldn’t normally be possible for her. In Mozambique, education is a privilege and many are unable to study because of conditions. We want to change that by providing education to girls in the village where we work."

 

Full Heart Co's blog interview with Elisabetta Colabianchi of the Non-Profit organization Kurandza. Full Heart Co is honored to come alongside of Kurandza and their mission to empower women in Mozambique.

 

You also focus on educating and empowering women so that they can care for themselves and their families. Can you tell us more about this?

"Our first project was a sewing cooperative aimed at empowering women to make their own income and provide for their families. We taught these women about financial management and entrepreneurship, and these women now help teach other community members the skills they have learned. We’ve started a few other small businesses and plan on continuing to teach vocational skills and small business development to our community. When women earn an income, they are more likely to invest it back into their families, and we have seen this first hand! The women in our sewing cooperative have bought livestock, improved their homes, and sent their kids to school."

 

Full Heart Co's blog interview with Elisabetta Colabianchi of the Non-Profit organization Kurandza. Full Heart Co is honored to come alongside of Kurandza and their mission to empower women in Mozambique.

 

If you could sum up Kurandza in 3 words. What would those be?

 "Love. Community. Empowerment."

So many women want to be more involved with non-profits but they are not sure how. How can they become more involved with Kurandza?

 "There are many ways to get involved with Kurandza. And we, too, LOVE collaborating and building relationships with like-minded women! If you run a business, you can become a Kurandza Giveback Partner like Lindsay, and donate a percentage of business revenue to our cause every month. You could also spread the word about the #IStandForGirls campaign or for $20/month, you could sponsor a girl in Mozambique and see the huge difference you’re making! You could also come visit us and volunteer in Mozambique for our Empowerment Trip!"

*** As of today, 102 girls are sponsored!! Yay!!! 

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Full Heart Co's blog interview with Elisabetta Colabianchi of Kurandza. Kurandza is a non-profit organization investing in the future of women and girls in Mozambique.

 

Update from Kurandza --> "The girls that were sponsored from last year's #IStandForGirls Campaign are already improving their Portuguese skills, learning English, showing improvement in their behavior, increasing their self-esteem, and dreaming for the future. Think of what a difference we can make with 200 girls this year!"

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Full Heart Co's blog interview with Elisabetta Colabianchi of Kurandza. Kurandza is a non-profit organization investing in the future of women and girls in Mozambique.Full Heart Co's blog interview with Elisabetta Colabianchi of Kurandza. Kurandza is a non-profit organization investing in the future of women and girls in Mozambique.

 

This is Gilda and she speaks to my heart --> Gilda is 6 years old + she dreams of becoming a NURSE so that she can help the people in her community. 

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Full Heart Co is joining Elisabetta + Kurandza in their mission to invest in the future of girls like Gilda! 

 

 

 

10% from each sale of this mug goes directly to Kurandza.

 

Head to the shop + let's come alongside Kurandza as they seek to support/empower these amazing women/girls in Mozambique! 
 
Want to be in the know on all things Elisabetta + Kurandza?
Instagram: @lovekurandza
XO, LINDSAY



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