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Mother and Daughter by Zinaida Serebriakova

Ten years ago, Chandre * was a woman who rarely left her community. She struggled to be accepted within her own community, her own faith and her own family. She was smart, yet didn’t have the opportunity to go to college. She began having babies at an early age and worked hard to put food on the table. In her own words, she was broken, alone and hopeless. 

Today, her daughter enrolled in a design course at school. Chantelle* enjoys trying new hobbies like photography, modeling and horseback riding. She plans to travel to Europe after she graduates. 

At age 47, Chandre has never traveled outside of CapeTown. Last month she applied for a passport. 

If we are to change communities and families, lives and legacies, we must change what mothers believe about themselves.

When Chandre was trapped in a cycle of poverty and despair, not only did it keep her in survival mode, but it robbed her of hope and dreams. When you don’t know how you will pay for your next meal, or if your daughter will be attacked on her way home from school, there is no room for dreams and potential. Only surviving matters. 

Women are worthy of justice, not just charity. Those things which keep dreams out of reach are draining the creative flourishing that can change a community. This is not about programs. It’s about relationship. It’s trusting women with their own money. To make their own investment.

We are not going to build schools, orphanages or wells for clean water. We are not going to be pouring funds into projects with our brand name on the side of the building. 

We are going to see daughters and mothers  change their futures. We are going to watch girls like Chantelle go to college, buy their own homes, travel abroad and contribute to the greater good. 

We are going to know that we played a small part in that and will say,“that’s our girl.” 

*name changed

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