Seeking Funds to Run a Leadership Program for High School Girls in Malawi, Africa
Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of sitting down with two extraordinary people, Marie Da Silva and Luc Deschamps, President and Executive Director, respectively, of Jacaranda Primary & Secondary School in Malawi, East Africa. Jacaranda serves over 400 AIDS orphans, annually, and has enjoyed incredible success. Marie was recognized as a Top 10 CNN Hero in 2008 for her work. Despite the school’s success, teenage girls continue to have the school’s highest dropout rate due to various social pressures.
Working with Marie and Luc, I developed a leadership program proposal for Jacaranda to spend several months working with their students, teachers, student guardians, community leaders, and local universities to create a pilot, sustainable leadership program that continuously builds a network for the girls’ success. The program will include workshops, activities, discussions, mentoring, and community projects. Teachers, administrators, and others will participate in developing the program as we go along.
Why is this important? Much research shows that the health of a community and its environment is linked to the status and education of the women living in the community. The health of Africa is increasingly key to the health of our planet, overall, and it is critical to engage communities in creating innovative models for human development. On a more personal level, I simply believe that girls deserve to have great opportunities and I’m excited to be able to work with a school to make this happen.
Jacaranda School is supported by the nonprofit Jacaranda Foundation based in the United States. If you are interested in reading the full leadership program proposal and possibly supporting the program, please contact me directly.
Launching Issue Two of the Literature for Life Literary Journal
Literature for Life is the nonprofit online literary journal that features the work of LA’s great writers. Cutting edge middle and high school curriculum is written for the stories, and Literature for Life partners with LA schools to work with teachers on incorporating the stories into their curriculum. As the Managing Editor of Literature for Life, I’m working with a team of writers, educators, artists and designers to launch the next issue of the literary journal, complete with curriculum, in April 2014.