It is hard to believe that 2019 is flying by and it’s already the end of February! I have several very important updates to share about The Seraphine Project today. Let's jump right in!
To begin, I am very excited to tell you all that I am starting a pen pal program between some of my friends here in the US and some of the Club girls in Zimbabwe. This new initiative is inspired from an amazing book “I Will Always Write Back.” The book is about a teenage girl in America and a boy living in Zimbabwe. It highlights their pen pal relationship and how one letter ultimately changed both of their lives forever. Here’s a bit about their story:
One day a girl, Catlin, was given an assignment at school to write to a boy her age living in Zimbabwe. Her first letter led to many more between them as they developed an incredibly deep relationship. Throughout the book, you learn about both of their lives. In particular, you are given a really incredible perspective into what life is like in Zimbabwe for Martin. The two write back and forth from September 1997 until 2003 when a truly remarkable milestone occurs for both of them. I don’t want to give much else away, but I would highly recommend that anyone read this incredible story. I promise you will come away inspired and also understand more about some of the circumstances girls in Victoria Falls, Livingstone and surrounding rural communities face every day.
For a while now I have been wanting to get girls here directly involved with the remarkable club girls I have been fortunate enough to work with. 25 fantastic and caring friends here in the States have volunteered to be matched with a girl from the “Girls Time” club in Victoria Falls. They are each writing a letter that will be delivered very soon (more on that in a minute). I honestly don’t know what the reaction will be, but for me, anytime I receive a piece of mail I get super excited. And to give some perspective, most of these girls in Zimbabwe have never once received a piece of mail in their entire lives. I hope that they will all be so excited to hear from their new friends that they will quickly write back! In this way the return letters will give a gift of friendship and inspiration to my American friends. And who knows how long some of these new relationships may last? I certainly hope a very long time just like in “I Will Always Write Back”!
The second thing that I am overjoyed to announce is that in less than two weeks my dad and I will be returning to Africa to spend time with several clubs in Zimbabwe and Zambia! While there, I will get to visit with some of the girls I developed relationships with when I first visited in November 2017. I will also see some new clubs, meet new girls, as well as spend some time with Aunties and also alumni girls, too! Stay posted for many photos and an update after the trip! I can't wait to tell you all about it!!
The last thing that I am so proud to announce today is that The Seraphine Project has met our goal and raised enough funds to fully support a the creation of a first-ever safe space!! Thank you all for your incredible support in reaching this milestone. We met this goal at the end of 2018, but I have been waiting to announce the exciting news until another piece of it had fully come together. After a thorough search to find just the right place, we have officially found a safe space for the girls and Aunties to meet, learn and share new experiences that is located in urban Victoria Falls.
When I am visiting, I will get to see the space myself and share all about it with you when I am back. I am also planning to spend some time with several girls painting the space, and once I depart they will continue to refurbish the space so that it is their own and the perfect girls club meeting place!
I cannot thank you all enough for your tremendous support of The Seraphine Project. It truly means the world to me. I look forward to meeting many more milestones together in the future! As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions!