The FutureSpark Vision
In December 2015, my idea to harness the power of digital storytelling to improve girls’ access to education seemed like a pipe dream; yet, many hours of research, planning, and the support of mentors and many others all helped make it a reality. When I touched down in Mozambique for the first time, the country had just fallen into a severe economic crisis, and a resurgent civil war had erupted in the northern and interior regions. I was met with countless challenges of operating in this climate, many of which were exacerbated by the uncertainty of this social and political instability. As a nation that had just started to rebuild after decades of civil war, many young Mozambicans I met found it difficult to find sources of hope for the future.
However, the community of Mafalala, I believe, is one of those sources of hope for the future.
Despite the abject poverty, there were seeds of change being planted and people with vision. One of these people was Ivan Laranjeira, founder of IVERCA, and our local partner in Mozambique. I feel incredibly fortunate to have serendipitously crossed paths with Ivan, yet in retrospect, perhaps it was all part of the plan. The synergy of our teams’ visions helped create the foundation we needed to build this endeavor from scratch. Once we began the work with the girls in Mafalala, witnessing each girl’s aspiration to overcome such immense obstacles was a powerful reminder of the potential that can be unlocked by each girl’s individual agency. These girls are our inspiration to continue to push forward, despite the challenges in this work, to help transform cycles of poverty into cycles of empowerment.
Founder / Executive Director, FUTURESPARK